Predictors of Novel Inflection Learning by Preschool-Aged Boys This study addressed the extent to which performance on selected verbal and nonverbal measures contributes to the prediction of inflection learning. Twenty normal boys between the ages of 4:4 (years:months) and 5:7 were presented with stories designed to teach novel vocabulary and morphological inflections. A multiple regression analysis indicated that ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1990
Predictors of Novel Inflection Learning by Preschool-Aged Boys
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Monica Nakamura
    University of Arizona
  • Elena Plante
    University of Arizona
  • Linda Swisher
    University of Arizona
  • Requests for reprints should be sent to Linda Swisher, Language Laboratory, 33 East Ochoa Street, Tucson, AZ 85701.
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1990
Predictors of Novel Inflection Learning by Preschool-Aged Boys
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1990, Vol. 33, 747-754. doi:10.1044/jshr.3304.747
History: Received November 6, 1989 , Accepted May 15, 1990
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1990, Vol. 33, 747-754. doi:10.1044/jshr.3304.747
History: Received November 6, 1989; Accepted May 15, 1990

This study addressed the extent to which performance on selected verbal and nonverbal measures contributes to the prediction of inflection learning. Twenty normal boys between the ages of 4:4 (years:months) and 5:7 were presented with stories designed to teach novel vocabulary and morphological inflections. A multiple regression analysis indicated that the measure of current inflection skills accounted for nearly half of the variance in inflection learning results. In addition, performance on a posttest of vocabulary learning significantly (p < .05) contributed to the prediction equation. Although closer analysis of the findings indicates that the relation between nonverbal rule learning and inflection learning warrants further investigation, none of the three nonverbal measures was a significant contributor to the prediction equation. The results suggest that inflection learning may be tied more to other language abilities than to nonverbal cognitive skills in normally developing boys.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This study was accepted as a thesis completed by M. Nakamura and directed by L. Swisher. E. Plante served as a doctoral-level advisor; R. Vance served as a clinical associate.
We gratefully acknowledge the invaluable assistance given by R. Vance in many areas, including pilot testing and task development. We thank L. Roberts, P. Rossi, and C. J. Sigismund for their help in collecting data, and J. Davis, M. O’Toole, P. Poon, and R. Tiller for their help in analyzing the data. In addition, our thanks are extended to the directors of the preschools, the children, and their parents for their interest and participation in this research.
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