Reproduction of Inflectional Markers in French-Speaking Children With Reading Impairment

St-Pierre, Marie-Catherine; Béland, Renée
April 2010
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Apr2010, Vol. 53 Issue 2, p469
Academic Journal
Purpose: Children with reading impairment (RI) experience difficulties in oral and written production of inflectional markers. The origin of these difficulties is not well documented in French. According to some authors, acquisition of irregular items by typically developing children is predicted by token frequency, whereas acquisition of regular items is predicted by type frequency. The authors hypothesized that acquisition of inflectional markers in French depends on the distribution of irregular, invariable, and regular (transparent) items within a grammatical category. Method: Fifteen children with RI age matched with 15 children with typical reading development repeated and read aloud sentences containing adjectives inflected for gender and verbs inflected for number. Inflected adjectives and verbs were matched for token frequency and phonological complexity, whereas distribution of invariable, transparent, and irregular items differed within each grammatical category. Results: Results show higher error rates in the RI group, who produced more errors in reading than repetition, and more errors on inflected verbs than adjectives. Error distribution varied with the proportion of invariable, irregular, and transparent items within each grammatical category, confirming the authors' hypothesis. Conclusion: The authors concluded that morphological difficulties of children with RI group originated from a delay in extracting systematicity in verb and adjective inflectional marking.


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