Maternal Linguistic Input to Toddlers With Slow Expressive Language Development Maternal speech styles to children between 20 and 34 months of age who were slow to acquire expressive language were compared to those of mothers with normally speaking toddlers. Aspects of the mothers’ speech examined included use of various sentence types (declaratives, negative, questions, etc.), the mother’s lexical contingency with ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 1991
Maternal Linguistic Input to Toddlers With Slow Expressive Language Development
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Rhea Paul
    Portland State Unversity Portland, OR
  • Terril J. Elwood
    North Clackamas School District Milwaukie, OR
  • Requests for reprints should be sent to Rhea Paul, PhD, Speech and Hearing Sciences Program, Portland State University, P.O. Box 751, Portland, OR 97207.
Article Information
Special Populations / Language Disorders / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 1991
Maternal Linguistic Input to Toddlers With Slow Expressive Language Development
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1991, Vol. 34, 982-988. doi:10.1044/jshr.3405.982
History: Received June 7, 1990 , Accepted October 31, 1990
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1991, Vol. 34, 982-988. doi:10.1044/jshr.3405.982
History: Received June 7, 1990; Accepted October 31, 1990

Maternal speech styles to children between 20 and 34 months of age who were slow to acquire expressive language were compared to those of mothers with normally speaking toddlers. Aspects of the mothers’ speech examined included use of various sentence types (declaratives, negative, questions, etc.), the mother’s lexical contingency with regard to the child’s utterance; mother’s use of pragmatic functions such as requests, comments, and conversational devices; and the mother’s use of topic management. Results revealed that mothers of toddlers with slow language development are different from mothers of normal speakers only in their frequency of use of lexical contingency devices, specifically, expansion and extension. However, the proportion of expansions and extensions relative to the number of child utterances is not different, indicating that when late talkers give their mothers something to expand, the mothers do so, but that the late talkers do not give their mothers as much speech to work with as do the normal toddlers. Implications of these findings for parent training are discussed

Acknowledgments
An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. The research was supported by grants from NIH (Grant #DC00793), the Meyer Memorial Trust, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation, and Portland State University.
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