Causative Alternations of Children With Specific Language Impairment Alternating verbs to indicate or to relinquish cause requires an understanding of semantic and syntactic knowledge. This study evaluated the ability of children with specific language impairment (SLI) to produce the causative alternation in comparison to age peers and to language peers. The children with SLI were proficient in lexically ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 1998
Causative Alternations of Children With Specific Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Diane Frome Loeb
    University of Kansas
  • Clifton Pye
    University of Kansas
  • Lori Zobel Richardson
    University of Kansas
  • Sean Redmond
    University of Kansas
  • Contact author: Diane Frome Loeb, Department of Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences and Disorders, University of Kansas, 3044 Dole, Lawrence, KS 66045. Email: diane@dole.lsi.ukans.edu
  • Now affiliated with Shawnee Mission, Kansas, School District
    Now affiliated with Shawnee Mission, Kansas, School District×
  • Now affiliated with University of Utah
    Now affiliated with University of Utah×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 1998
Causative Alternations of Children With Specific Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1998, Vol. 41, 1103-1114. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4105.1103
History: Received March 17, 1997 , Accepted December 20, 1997
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1998, Vol. 41, 1103-1114. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4105.1103
History: Received March 17, 1997; Accepted December 20, 1997

Alternating verbs to indicate or to relinquish cause requires an understanding of semantic and syntactic knowledge. This study evaluated the ability of children with specific language impairment (SLI) to produce the causative alternation in comparison to age peers and to language peers. The children with SLI were proficient in lexically alternating verbs, yet provided fewer passive and periphrastic constructions and more different verbs and adjectival responses. Overgeneralization error data suggest that the semantic systems of some children with SLI were similar to their age comparisons. Individual differences within the SLI group suggested that some children were adept at providing syntactic responses and overgeneralizations, whereas some of the SLI group provided less mature responses of no alternations and no responses. These findings demonstrate a syntactic deficit in the causative alternation for some children with SLI.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by research grant number R03 DC 01735 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health. Portions of this research were presented at the 25th Stanford Child Language Research Forum, the Symposium for Child Language Disorders Research in Madison, WI, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Conference in New Orleans. We acknowledge the assistance of Jayne Brandel, Maria Heid, Jennifer Hill, Erica Neal, Rachel Pratte, and Mark Santoro. We extend our gratitude to the families that participated from Language Project Kindergarten, Language Project Preschool, Language Acquisition Program, Children’s Learning Center, Hilltop Child Development Center, and Stepping Stones.
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