Utterance Length and Lexical Diversity in Cantonese-Speaking Children With and Without Specific Language Impairment

Klee, Thomas; Stokes, Stephanie F.; Wong, Anita M.-Y.; Fletcher, Paul; Gavin, William J.
December 2004
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Dec2004, Vol. 47 Issue 6, p1396
Academic Journal
Two studies of children's conversational language abilities are reported. In the first, mean length of utterance (MLU) and lexical diversity (D) were examined in a group of typically developing Cantonese-speaking children in Hong Kong. Regression analyses indicated a significant linear relationship between MLU and age (R=.44) and a significant curvilinear relationship between D and age (R=.73) in children age 27-68 months. MLU and D were moderately correlated with each other (r=.23); however, the two measures showed no statistical relationship when the effect of age was partialled out. In a second study, the utterances of Chinese children with specific language impairment (SLI) were found to be significantly shorter and less lexically diverse than typically developing children matched for age but similar to children matched for comprehension level. Discriminant analyses revealed that the combination of age, MLU, and D could be used to accurately differentiate children with SLI from both age-matched and language-matched children. Based on these findings, we hypothesize that these measures can be used jointly as a marker of SLI in Cantonese-speaking children.


Related Articles

  • Questions Without Movement: A Study of Cantonese-Speaking Children With and Without Specific Language Impairment. Wong, Anita M.-Y.; Leonard, Laurence B.; Fletcher, Paul; Stokes, Stephanie F. // Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Dec2004, Vol. 47 Issue 6, p1440 

    English-speaking children with specific language impairment (SLI) appear to have special difficulty in the use of who-object questions (e.g., Who is the girl chasing?). It has been argued that the problems related to grammatical movement may be responsible for this difficulty. However, it is...

  • Differentiating Cantonese-Speaking Preschool Children With and Without SLI Using MLU and Lexical Diversity (D). Wong, Anita M.-Y.; Klee, Thomas; Stokes, Stephanie F.; Fletcher, Paul; Leonard, Laurence B. // Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Jun2010, Vol. 53 Issue 3, p794 

    Purpose: In this study, the authors examined the diagnostic accuracy of a composite clinical assessment measure based on mean length of utterance (MLU), lexical diversity (D), and age (Klee, Stokes, Wong, Fletcher, & Gavin, 2004) in a second, independent sample of 4-year-old Cantonese-speaking...

  • Dificultades pragmáticas en el trastorno específico del lenguaje. El papel de las tareas mentalistas. Roqueta, Clara Andrés; Estevan, Rosa Ana Clemente // Psicothema;nov2010, Vol. 22 Issue 4, p677 

    Several subjects with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) show communicative and pragmatic problems. In this study, we suggested that mentalistic comprehension tasks would help us to find a deteriorated pragmatic profile among the population with SLI. To achieve this goal, a group of participants...

  • Working Memory Capacity and Language Processes in Children With Specific Language Impairment. Marton, Klara; Schwartz, Richard G. // Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Oct2003, Vol. 46 Issue 5, p1138 

    This study examined the interaction between working memory and language comprehension in children with specific language impairment (SLI), focusing on the function of the central executive component and its interaction with the phonological loop (A. D. Baddeley, 1986) in complex working memory...

  • Mean Length of Utterance in Children With Specific Language Impairment and in Younger Control Children Shows Concurrent Validity and Stable and Parallel Growth Trajectories. Rice, Mabel L.; Redmond, Sean M.; Hoffman, Lesa // Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Aug2006, Vol. 49 Issue 4, p793 

    Purpose: Although mean length of utterance (MLU) is a useful benchmark in studies of children with specific language impairment (SLI), some empirical and interpretive issues are unresolved. The authors report on 2 studies examining, respectively, the concurrent validity and temporal stability of...

  • Predictors of Print Knowledge in Children With Specific Language Impairment: Experiential and Developmental Factors. McGinty, Anita S.; Justice, Laura M. // Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Feb2009, Vol. 52 Issue 1, p81 

    Purpose: Many children with specific language impairment (SLI) demonstrate delays in print knowledge, yet the reasons for these delays are not well understood. The present study investigates the degree to which developmental risk factors and home literacy experiences predict the print knowledge...

  • Oral and Written Story Composition Skills of Children With Language Impairment. Fey, Marc E.; Catts, Hugh W.; Proctor-Williams, Kerry; Tomblin, J. Bruce; Zhang, Xuyang // Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Dec2004, Vol. 47 Issue 6, p1301 

    In this study 538 children composed 1 oral and 1 written fictional story in both 2nd and 4th grades. Each child represented 1 of 4 diagnostic groups: typical language (TL), specific language impairment (SU), nonspecific language impairment (NU), or low nonverbal IQ (LNIQ). The stories of the TL...

  • Listeners' Perceptions of Language Use in Children. DeThorne, Laura Segebart; Watkins, Ruth V. // Language, Speech & Hearing Services in Schools;Jul2001, Vol. 32 Issue 3, p142 

    Focuses on perceptions of listeners towards language use in children. Influence of the perceptions on child development; Nature of specific language impairment; Interventions recommended for speech-language pathologists.

  • PROPIEDADES LINGÜÍSTICAS DE LOS TRASTORNOS ESPECÍFICOS DEL DESARROLLO DEL LENGUAJE. Hincapié, Liliana; Giraldo, Mario; Castro, Rodrigo; Lopera, Francisco; Pineda, David; Lopera, Egidio // Revista Latinoamericana de Psicología;2007, Vol. 39 Issue 1, p47 

    This study reviews the main approaches of the functional alterations that may explain language alterations in children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI). It is estimated that at least 7.4% of the children have difficulties in their language development and most of them do not have other...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics