Delay Versus Deviance in the Language Acquisition of Language-Impaired Children To investigate the issue of delay versus deviance in the language acquisition of language-impaired (LI) children, the order of acquisition of a set of linguistic structures and the relationship obtaining between one structure and another were examined in comprehension and production over a 5-year period in a group of LI ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 1992
Delay Versus Deviance in the Language Acquisition of Language-Impaired Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Susan Curtiss
    University of California, Los Angeles
  • William Katz
    University of Texas, Dallas
  • Paula Tallal
    Rutgers University Newark, NJ
Article Information
Development / Language Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 1992
Delay Versus Deviance in the Language Acquisition of Language-Impaired Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1992, Vol. 35, 373-383. doi:10.1044/jshr.3502.373
History: Received August 4, 1989 , Accepted May 30, 1991
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1992, Vol. 35, 373-383. doi:10.1044/jshr.3502.373
History: Received August 4, 1989; Accepted May 30, 1991

To investigate the issue of delay versus deviance in the language acquisition of language-impaired (LI) children, the order of acquisition of a set of linguistic structures and the relationship obtaining between one structure and another were examined in comprehension and production over a 5-year period in a group of LI and language-matched normal children. The results demonstrated a marked similarity between groups, both in the point at which mastery of individual structures was achieved and in the overall patterns of acquisition demonstrated. These data suggest that LI children are constructing grammars based on the same rules and principles as those of linguistically normal control subjects, and that their linguistic impairments may be principally processing, not representational, in nature.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by NIH NINCDS contract #NIH N01 NS92322. The authors would like to thank the children and their families who participated in this long project. We are also grateful to all of the staff who helped in the data collection phase of the study. Special thanks and appreciation go to Christine Justice for her work and insights in the statistical analysis of the data. We are also grateful for the insightful and helpful comments and suggestions by the reviewers. Any errors are, of course, our own.
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