Speech Disruptions in the Narratives of English-Speaking Children With Specific Language Impairment Purpose This study examined the types, frequencies, and distribution of speech disruptions in the spoken narratives of children with specific language impairment (SLI) and their age-matched (CA) and language-matched (LA) peers. Method Twenty 4th-grade children with SLI, 20 typically developing CA children, and 20 younger typically developing LA ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2008
Speech Disruptions in the Narratives of English-Speaking Children With Specific Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ling-yu Guo
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • J. Bruce Tomblin
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Vicki Samelson
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Contact author: Ling-yu Guo, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of Iowa, 119 SHC, Iowa City, IA 52242. E-mail: ling-yu-guo@uiowa.edu.
Article Information
Development / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2008
Speech Disruptions in the Narratives of English-Speaking Children With Specific Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2008, Vol. 51, 722-738. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/051)
History: Received October 25, 2006 , Revised July 4, 2007 , Accepted September 18, 2007
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2008, Vol. 51, 722-738. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/051)
History: Received October 25, 2006; Revised July 4, 2007; Accepted September 18, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 18

Purpose This study examined the types, frequencies, and distribution of speech disruptions in the spoken narratives of children with specific language impairment (SLI) and their age-matched (CA) and language-matched (LA) peers.

Method Twenty 4th-grade children with SLI, 20 typically developing CA children, and 20 younger typically developing LA children were included in this study. Speech disruptions (i.e., silent pauses and vocal hesitations) occurring in the narratives of these children were analyzed.

Results Children with SLI exhibited speech disruption rates that were higher than those of their age-matched peers but not higher than those of their language-matched peers. The difference in disruption rates between the SLI and CA groups was restricted to silent pauses of 500–1000 ms. Moreover, children with SLI produced more speech disruptions than their peers before phrases but not before sentences, clauses, or words.

Conclusions These findings suggest that there is a relationship between language ability and speech disruptions. Higher disruption rates at phrase boundaries in children with SLI than in their age-matched peers reflect lexical and syntactic deficits in children with SLI.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by Grant 1-P50-DC02726 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. We thank Marc Fey for offering the transcriptions of narratives; Rick Arenas, Juanita Limas, Marlea O’Brien, Chun-yi Shen, Yi-li Yang, and Xuyang Zhang for assisting with preparation of the article; Hsin-jen Hsu; Amanda J. Owen; the Language Development Group; and students in the scientific writing class (Spring 2006, University of Iowa).
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