The Grammatical Morphology of Hebrew-Speaking Children With Specific Language Impairment Some Competing Hypotheses Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 1993
The Grammatical Morphology of Hebrew-Speaking Children With Specific Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Esther Dromi
    Tel Aviv University Israel
  • Laurence B. Leonard
    Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
  • Michal Shteiman
    Tel Aviv University Israel
  • Contact author: Esther Dromi, PhD, School of Education, Tel Aviv University, P.O.B. 39040, 69978 Tel Aviv, Israel.
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 1993
The Grammatical Morphology of Hebrew-Speaking Children With Specific Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1993, Vol. 36, 760-771. doi:10.1044/jshr.3604.760
History: Received October 21, 1992 , Accepted February 22, 1993
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1993, Vol. 36, 760-771. doi:10.1044/jshr.3604.760
History: Received October 21, 1992; Accepted February 22, 1993

Many English-speaking children with specific language impairment have unusual difficulty with grammatical morphemes such as past tense and third-person singular verb inflections and function words such as articles. Unfortunately, the source of this difficulty is not yet clear, in part because some of the possible contributing factors are confounded in English. In the present study, alternative accounts of grammatical morpheme difficulties were evaluated using children with specific language impairment who were acquiring Hebrew. We examined the grammatical morpheme production and comprehension of 15 Hebrew-speaking children with specific language impairment, 15 normally developing compatriots matched for age and 15 normally developing children matched for mean length of utterance in words. The results provided tentative support for the notion that grammatical morphemes are less difficult for children with specific language impairment if they take the form of stressed and/or lengthened syllables and if they appear in a language in which nouns, verbs, and adjectives must be inflected. The possibility that features such as person, number, and gender are missing from the underlying grammars of these children seems less likely.

Acknowledgments
The authors wish to thank Shlomit Mor, Lisa Savila, and Sarah Zadunaisky for their extraordinary help in subject identification, data collection, transcription, and data analysis. This research was supported by NIH research grant DC00458.
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