Comparison of Grammar of Children with Functionally Deviant and Normal Speech A generative model of grammar was used to compare the grammar of 10 children diagnosed as using infantile speech with that of 10 matched children using normal speech to attempt to formalize the description of language simply characterized as infantile. The language of one child was periodically sampled from age ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1964
Comparison of Grammar of Children with Functionally Deviant and Normal Speech
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Paula Menyuk
    Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1964
Comparison of Grammar of Children with Functionally Deviant and Normal Speech
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1964, Vol. 7, 109-121. doi:10.1044/jshr.0702.109
History: Received January 29, 1964
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1964, Vol. 7, 109-121. doi:10.1044/jshr.0702.109
History: Received January 29, 1964

A generative model of grammar was used to compare the grammar of 10 children diagnosed as using infantile speech with that of 10 matched children using normal speech to attempt to formalize the description of language simply characterized as infantile. The language of one child was periodically sampled from age two to three. A language sample from each child was analyzed and the syntactic structures used were postulated. A number of children in each group were asked to repeat a list of sentences containing syntactic structures found in children’s grammar.

The term infantile seemed to be a misnomer since at no age level did the grammatical production of a child with deviant speech match or closely match that of a child with normal speech. It was hypothesized that the differences found in the use and repetition of syntactic structures between the two groups might be due to differences in the use of the coding processes for the perception and production of language. The children with deviant speech, in the terms of the model of grammar used for analysis, formulated their sentences with the most general rules whereas children with normal speech used increasingly differentiating rules for different structures as they matured.

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