Factors Affecting Accuracy of Past Tense Production in Children With Specific Language Impairment And Their Typically Developing Peers: The Influence of Verb Transitivity, Clause Location, and Sentence Type

Owen, Amanda J.
August 2010
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Aug2010, Vol. 53 Issue 4, p993
Academic Journal
Purpose: The author examined the influence of sentence type, clause order, and verb transitivity on the accuracy of children's past tense productions. All groups of children, but especially children with specific language impairment (SLI), were predicted to decrease accuracy as linguistic complexity increased. Method: The author elicited past tense productions in 2-clause sentences from 5- to 8-year-old children with SLI (n = 14) and their typically developing peers (n = 24). The target sentences varied in the type and obligatory nature of the second clause and the number of arguments. Results: On average, 85% of the responses across all groups and sentence types contained 2 clauses. Fewer 2-clause sentences were produced in the complement clause condition than in the other conditions. Sentence type and clause order, but not argument structure, influenced use of past tense. Children with SLI had a similar but less accurate profile as compared with the age-matched group. The younger mean length of utterance (MLU)-matched group reflected decreased accuracy with each additional source of linguistic complexity. Conclusions: Increased syntactic difficulty decreases use of morphology for all children, supporting the hypothesis that processing demands influence morphological accuracy. MLU-matched children, but not children with SLI, were more affected by changes in linguistic complexity. Further work on age-related changes in sentence production is necessary.


Related Articles

  • The Effect of Temporal Adverbials on Past Tense Production by Children With Specific Language Impairment. Krantz, Laurie R.; Leonard, Laurence B. // Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Feb2007, Vol. 50 Issue 1, p137 

    Purpose: Children with specific language impairment (SLI) often fail to produce past tense forms in obligatory contexts, although the factors affecting such inconsistency are not well understood. This study examined the influence of accompanying temporal adverbials (e.g., just, already) on the...

  • Processing and Linguistic Markers in Young Children With Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Conti-Ramsden, Gina // Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Oct2003, Vol. 46 Issue 5, p1029 

    Thirty-two 5-year-old children with specific language impairment (SLI) and 32 chronological age (CA) controls completed 4 tasks that were considered potential positive markers for SLI. Children's performance on 2 linguistic tasks (past tense and noun plurals task) and 2 processing tasks (nonword...

  • 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...

  • A Method for Examining Productivity of Grammatical Morphology in Children With and Without Specific Language Impairment. Miller, Carol A.; Deevy, Patricia // Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Oct2003, Vol. 46 Issue 5, p1154 

    Children with specific language impairment (SLI) show inconsistent use of grammatical morphology. Children who are developing language typically also show a period during which they produce grammatical morphemes inconsistently. Various theories claim that both young typically developing children...

  • Taxometric Analyses of Specific Language Impairment in 3- and 4-Year-Old Children. Dollaghan, Christine A. // Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Apr2004, Vol. 47 Issue 2, p464 

    Specific language impairment (SLI), like many diagnostic labels for complex behavioral conditions, is often assumed to define a category of children who differ not only in degree but also in kind from children developing language normally. Although this assumption has important implications for...

  • Simulating SLI: General Cognitive Processing Stressors Can Produce a Specific Linguistic Profile. Hayiou-Thomas, Marianna E.; Bishop, Dorothy V. M.; Plunkett, Kim // Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Dec2004, Vol. 47 Issue 6, p1347 

    This study attempted to model specific language impairment (SLI) in a group of 6-year-old children with typically developing language by introducing cognitive stress factors into a grammaticality judgment task. At normal speech rate, all children had near-perfect performance. When the speech...

  • Tense and Agreement in the Speech of Children With Specific Language Impairment: Patters of Generalization Through Intervention. Leonard, Laurence B.; Camarata, Stephen M.; Brown, Barbara; Camarata, Mary N. // Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Dec2004, Vol. 47 Issue 6, p1363 

    Thirty-one children with specific language impairment participated in 48 intervention sessions designed to assist them in the use of 3rd-person singular -s or auxiliary is/are/was. Gains in the use of these target forms were significantly greater than gains on developmentally comparable...

  • The Onset of Tense Marking in Children at Risk for Specific Language Impairment. Hadley, Pamela A.; Short, Heather // Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Dec2005, Vol. 48 Issue 6, p1344 

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate measures reflecting the onset of tense marking for children between the ages of 2;0 (years;months) and 3;0. Method: The validity of 4 cumulative measures of tense marker emergence and productivity was evaluated relative to existing...

  • Verb Learning in Children With SLI: Frequency and Spacing Effects. Riches, N. G.; Tomasello, M.; Conti-Ramsden, Gina // Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Dec2005, Vol. 48 Issue 6, p1397 

    Purpose: This study explored the effect of frequency (number of presentations), and spacing (period between presentations) on verb learning in children with specific language impairment (SLI). Children learn words more efficiently when presentations are frequent and appropriately spaced, and...


Read the Article


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

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics