Learning and Generalization Components of Morphological Acquisition by Children With Specific Language Impairment Is There a Functional Relation? Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1994
Learning and Generalization Components of Morphological Acquisition by Children With Specific Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Linda Swisher
    The Child Language Laboratory, The University of Arizona, Tucson
  • David Snow
    The Child Language Laboratory, The University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Contact author: Linda Swisher, PhD, Child Language Laboratory, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721.
Article Information
Development / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1994
Learning and Generalization Components of Morphological Acquisition by Children With Specific Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1994, Vol. 37, 1406-1413. doi:10.1044/jshr.3706.1406
History: Received October 25, 1993 , Accepted June 13, 1994
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1994, Vol. 37, 1406-1413. doi:10.1044/jshr.3706.1406
History: Received October 25, 1993; Accepted June 13, 1994

Children with specific language impairment (SLI) have particular difficulty acquiring bound morphemes. To determine whether these morphological deficits spring from impairments of rule-induction or memory (storage/access) skills, 25 preschool-age children with normal language (NL) and 25 age-matched children with SLI were presented with a novel vocabulary and novel bound-morpheme learning task. A chi square analysis revealed that the children with SLI had significantly lower vocabulary learning levels than NL children. In addition, there was tentative evidence that a dependency relationship existed in some children between success in vocabulary learning and proficiency in generalizing a trained bound morpheme to untrained vocabulary stems. These findings are predicted by the storage/access but not the rule-induction theory of specific language impairment. They suggest that intervention targeting bound-morpheme skills acquisition in children with SLI might include attention to vocabulary development.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded in part by U. S. Department of Education Grant H029D20070, the Tucson Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation, a McDonnell-Pew Grant from the Cognitive Neurosciences program at the University of Arizona, and National Multipurpose Research and Training Grant DC01409 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
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