Article/Report  |   April 2006
Nonword Repetition and Sentence Repetition as Clinical Markers of Specific Language Impairment: The Case of Cantonese
Author Notes
  • Contact author: Stephanie F. Stokes, who is now at Speech and Language Sciences, School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences, King George VI Building, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, NE7 1RU, United Kingdom. E-mail: s.stokes@ncl.ac.uk
Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language
Article/Report   |   April 2006
Nonword Repetition and Sentence Repetition as Clinical Markers of Specific Language Impairment: The Case of Cantonese
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research April 2006, Vol.49, 219-236. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/019)
History: Accepted 21 Jul 2005 , Received 12 Jan 2005 , Revised 08 May 2005
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research April 2006, Vol.49, 219-236. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/019)
History: Accepted 21 Jul 2005 , Received 12 Jan 2005 , Revised 08 May 2005

Purpose: Recent research suggests that nonword repetition (NWR) and sentence repetition (SR) tasks can be used to discriminate between children with SLI and their typically developing age-matched (TDAM) and younger (TDY) peers.

Method: Fourteen Cantonese-speaking children with SLI and 30 of their TDAM and TDY peers were compared on NWR and SR tasks. NWR of IN nonwords (CV combinations attested in the language) and OUT nonwords (CV combinations unattested in the language) were compared. SR performance was compared using 4 different scoring methods.

Results: The SLI group did not score significantly lower than the TDAM group on the test of NWR (overall results were TDAM = SLI > TDY). There were nonsignificant group differences on IN syllables but not on OUT syllables. The results do not suggest a limitation in phonological working memory in Cantonese-speaking children with SLI. The SR task discriminated between children and their TDAM peers but not between children with SLI and their TDY peers matched for mean length of utterance.

Conclusions: SR but not NWR discriminates between children with SLI and their TDAM peers. Poorer NWR for English-speaking children with SLI might be attributable to weaker use of the redintegration strategy in word repetition. Further cross-linguistic investigations of processing strategies are required.

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