Factors That Influence Lexical and Semantic Fast Mapping of Young Children With Specific Language Impairment Purpose This purpose of this study was to investigate the lexical and semantic fast mapping ability of young children with specific language impairment (SLI) and normal language (NL), with a specific emphasis on the influence of phonological factors. Method The study included 46 children (mean age 58 months), ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2006
Factors That Influence Lexical and Semantic Fast Mapping of Young Children With Specific Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mary Alt
    University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Elena Plante
    University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Contact author: Mary Alt, Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, The University of Arizona, P.O. Box 210071, Tucson, AZ 85721-0071. E-mail: malt@u.arizona.edu
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2006
Factors That Influence Lexical and Semantic Fast Mapping of Young Children With Specific Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2006, Vol. 49, 941-954. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/068)
History: Received October 15, 2004 , Revised May 27, 2005 , Accepted January 3, 2006
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2006, Vol. 49, 941-954. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/068)
History: Received October 15, 2004; Revised May 27, 2005; Accepted January 3, 2006
Web of Science® Times Cited: 87

Purpose This purpose of this study was to investigate the lexical and semantic fast mapping ability of young children with specific language impairment (SLI) and normal language (NL), with a specific emphasis on the influence of phonological factors.

Method The study included 46 children (mean age 58 months), half with SLI and half with NL. Children were asked to fast map visual information only, visual-plus-nonlinguistic-auditory information, and visual-plus-linguistic-auditory information. A mixed design was used to compare children across and within groups.

Results Children with SLI performed worse than children with NL overall. The SLI group showed specific deficits in semantic fast mapping when they saw visual information only. This condition may have disrupted encoding because it varied from the expected auditory and visual pattern. The children with SLI also performed poorly when they were asked to map phonotactically infrequent linguistic information and when the difficulty of the task increased. A nonword repetition task was correlated with both semantic and lexical fast mapping.

Conclusions The findings are discussed in the light of their support for a limited capacity model of processing, as well as the impact of phonology on word learning.

Acknowledgments
The work in this article stems from a dissertation by Mary Alt. This work was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant DC-01409 and Grant R01-DC04726. We would like to thank Rachel Hayes-Harb for calculating phonotactic frequencies and neighborhood densities.
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