Grammatical Morphology and Speech Perception in Children With Specific Language Impairment Many English-speaking children with specific language impairment have been found to be especially weak in their use of grammatical morphology. In a separate literature, many children meeting the same subject description have shown significant limitations on tasks involving the perception of rapid acoustic changes. In this study, we attempted to ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 1992
Grammatical Morphology and Speech Perception in Children With Specific Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Laurence B. Leonard
    Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
  • Karla K. McGregor
    Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
  • George D. Allen
    Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
  • Contact author: Laurence B. Leonard, PhD, Audiology and Speech Sciences, Heavilon Hall, Purdue University, West Lafayette,IN 47907.
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 1992
Grammatical Morphology and Speech Perception in Children With Specific Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1992, Vol. 35, 1076-1085. doi:10.1044/jshr.3505.1076
History: Received June 14, 1991 , Accepted December 19, 1991
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1992, Vol. 35, 1076-1085. doi:10.1044/jshr.3505.1076
History: Received June 14, 1991; Accepted December 19, 1991

Many English-speaking children with specific language impairment have been found to be especially weak in their use of grammatical morphology. In a separate literature, many children meeting the same subject description have shown significant limitations on tasks involving the perception of rapid acoustic changes. In this study, we attempted to determine whether there were parallels between the grammatical morphological limitations of children with specific language impairment and their performance profiles across several perceptual contrasts. Because most English grammatical morphemes have shorter durations relative to adjacent morphemes in the speech stream, we hypothesized that children with specific language impairment would be especially weak in discriminating speech stimuli whose contrastive portions had shorter durations than the noncontrastive portions. Results from a group of eight children with specific language impairment with documented morphological difficulties confirmed these predictions. Several possible accounts of the observed morphology-perception parallels are offered.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by NIDCD Research Grant DC00458. Some of the stimuli were prepared with assistance from NICHD Contract NO1-HD-5-2910. The authors wish to thank Rachel Stark for her advice on a number of procedural matters.
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