Acquisition of Semantic Role by Language-Disordered Children Differences Between Production and Comprehension Research Article
Research Article  |   September 01, 1986
Acquisition of Semantic Role by Language-Disordered Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Phil J. Connell
    Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 01, 1986
Acquisition of Semantic Role by Language-Disordered Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 1986, Vol. 29, 366-374. doi:10.1044/jshr.2903.366
History: Received April 15, 1985 , Accepted February 10, 1986
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 1986, Vol. 29, 366-374. doi:10.1044/jshr.2903.366
History: Received April 15, 1985; Accepted February 10, 1986

Six 3-year-old language-disordered children were taught the relationship between semantic role and word order through either production or comprehension training. All 6 subjects successfully learned the relationship through production training as indicated by their responses to a production probe and by their use of word order to express semantic role distinctions in their conversational speech. These subjects never used word order cues to decode semantically reversible sentences on comprehension tests even after they were using word order appropriately in their conversational speech. Also, none of the subjects were able to learn word order through comprehension training. The results were interpreted to mean the subjects could learn a word-order rule by teaching them to say sentences that contrast word order and meaning but that they could not learn by being taught to respond to sentences. The problem with this latter procedure may be that it requires a mental operation that is beyond the level of cognitive development of children under the age of 4.

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