The Effect of Temporal Adverbials on Past Tense Production by Children With Specific Language Impairment 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 past tense production of these children. Method ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2007
The Effect of Temporal Adverbials on Past Tense Production by Children With Specific Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Laurie R. Krantz
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Laurence B. Leonard
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Contact author: Laurence B. Leonard, Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Heavilon Hall, 500 Oval Drive, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907. E-mail: xdxl@purdue.edu.
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2007
The Effect of Temporal Adverbials on Past Tense Production by Children With Specific Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2007, Vol. 50, 137-148. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/012)
History: Received August 15, 2005 , Accepted May 3, 2006
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2007, Vol. 50, 137-148. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/012)
History: Received August 15, 2005; Accepted May 3, 2006
Web of Science® Times Cited: 12

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 past tense production of these children.

Method Fifteen preschool-aged children with SLI, 15 typically developing children matched for age (TD–A) and 15 younger typically developing children matched for mean length of utterance (TD–MLU) participated in the study. The children responded to probes that obligated the use of past tense forms. The verbal context provided by the experimenter for half of the items included a temporal adverbial.

Results Overall, the SLI and TD–MLU groups produced past tense less frequently than the children in the TD–A group, and there were no significant differences between the SLI and the TD–MLU groups. However, both the SLI and the TD–MLU participants produced past tense forms less frequently when temporal adverbials were included than when they were absent.

Conclusions These findings suggest that the tendency to use past tense by the children with SLI and their younger MLU-matched peers may not have been independent of other types of temporal information.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by Research Grant R01 DC00458 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. We thank the children and families who participated. We would also like to thank David Kemmerer and Lisa Goffman, who provided insight and suggestions for the development of this research, as well as Patricia Deevy, Amanda Owen, Diana Elam, Gus Polite, Denise Finneran, Robert Kurtz, Michelle Morrison, Megan Davison, and Jennifer Davis for their assistance in data collection.
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