Subject Pronoun and Article Omissions in the Speech of Children With Specific Language Impairment A Phonological Interpretation Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 1994
Subject Pronoun and Article Omissions in the Speech of Children With Specific Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Karla K. McGregor
    Northwestern University Evanston, IL
  • Laurence B. Leonard
    Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
  • Contact author: Karla McGregor, PhD, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University, 2299 Campus Drive North, Evanston, IL 60208-3570. E-mail: mcgregor@casbah.acns.nwu.edu
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 1994
Subject Pronoun and Article Omissions in the Speech of Children With Specific Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1994, Vol. 37, 171-181. doi:10.1044/jshr.3701.171
History: Received October 5, 1992 , Accepted September 14, 1993
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1994, Vol. 37, 171-181. doi:10.1044/jshr.3701.171
History: Received October 5, 1992; Accepted September 14, 1993

Children with specific language impairment (SLI) and their MLU-matched normally developing (ND) peers imitated proper nouns, the pronouns he and you, and the article the in subject phrases. Although all of these word types were phonological phrase-initial syllables, the proper nouns received strong stress, but the function words received weak stress. Both groups of children showed significantly more omissions of the function words than the proper nouns. There was no significant difference amongst the imitations of the two pronouns or the article; all were omitted frequently by both groups. This suggests that the status of subject articles and pronouns as weak syllables in the initial position of phonological phrases may in some cases constitute a more important factor than the distinctive grammatical roles they play. A phonological explanation of subject article and pronoun omissions is explored.

Acknowledgments
This article was adapted from the doctoral dissertation of the first author. The work was supported by training grant #T32 DC00030 from the National Institutes of Health. We thank Rachel Stark, George Allen, Ronnie Wilbur, and Becky Brown for their input during all stages of this project. We also appreciate Lisa Bedore’s aid in subject selection and data collection.
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