Judgments of Omitted BE and DO in Questions as Extended Finiteness Clinical Markers of Specific Language Impairment (SLI) to 15 Years: A Study of Growth and Asymptote Purpose: Clinical grammar markers are needed for children with SLI older than 8 years. This study followed children who were previously studied on sentences with omitted finiteness to determine if affected children continue to perform at low levels and to examine possible predictors of low performance. This is the ... Article
Article  |   December 2009
Judgments of Omitted BE and DO in Questions as Extended Finiteness Clinical Markers of Specific Language Impairment (SLI) to 15 Years: A Study of Growth and Asymptote
 
Author Notes
  • Contact author: Mabel L. Rice, University of Kansas, Speech, Language, Hearing 1000 Sunnyside Ave, 3031 Dole, Lawrence, KS 66045. E-mail: mabel@ku.edu.
  • © 2009 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language
Article   |   December 2009
Judgments of Omitted BE and DO in Questions as Extended Finiteness Clinical Markers of Specific Language Impairment (SLI) to 15 Years: A Study of Growth and Asymptote
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2009, Vol. 52, 1417-1433. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0171)
History: Received August 18, 2008 , Accepted March 21, 2009
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2009, Vol. 52, 1417-1433. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0171)
History: Received August 18, 2008; Accepted March 21, 2009
Web of Science® Times Cited: 20

Purpose: Clinical grammar markers are needed for children with SLI older than 8 years. This study followed children who were previously studied on sentences with omitted finiteness to determine if affected children continue to perform at low levels and to examine possible predictors of low performance. This is the first longitudinal report of grammaticality judgments of questions.

Method: Three groups of children participated: 20 SLI, 20 age controls, and 18 language-matched controls, followed from ages 6–15 years. An experimental grammaticality judgment task was administered with BE copula/auxiliary and DO auxiliary in wh- and yes/no questions for 9 times of measurement. Predictors were indices of vocabulary, nonverbal intelligence, and maternal education.

Results: Growth curve analyses show that the affected group performed below the younger controls at each time of measurement, for each variable. Growth analyses show linear and quadratic effects for both groups across variables, with the exception of BE acquisition, which was flat for both groups. The control children reached ceiling levels; the affected children reached a lower asymptote.

Conclusion: The results suggest an ongoing maturational lag in finiteness marking for affected children with promise as a clinical marker for language impairment in school-aged and adolescent children and probably adults as well.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by the National Institutes of Health Grants P30DC005803, R01DC001803, and R01DC005226 to Mabel Rice, as well as by the University of Kansas Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center Grant P30HD002528 to Steve Warren.
We would like to thank the research assistants and students in Mabel Rice’s Language Acquisition Studies lab at the University of Kansas for data collection and data processing. Special thanks go to Denise Perpich for her assistance with data processing and summaries. Finally, we appreciate the time and effort of the children and their families who participated.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access