Specific Language Impairment and Grammatical Morphology A Discriminant Function Analysis Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 1998
Specific Language Impairment and Grammatical Morphology
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lisa M. Bedore
    San Diego State University San Diego, CA
  • Laurence B. Leonard
    Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
  • Contact author: Lisa M. Bedore, MA, Department of Communicative Disorders, San Diego State University, 6330 Alvarado Court, Suite 231, San Diego, CA 92120. Email: lbedore@mail.sdsu.edu
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 1998
Specific Language Impairment and Grammatical Morphology
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1998, Vol. 41, 1185-1192. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4105.1185
History: Received August 15, 1997 , Accepted March 20, 1998
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1998, Vol. 41, 1185-1192. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4105.1185
History: Received August 15, 1997; Accepted March 20, 1998

Discriminant function analysis was employed to determine if grammatical morpheme production could be used to classify preschool-age children with specific language impairment (SLI) and children with typically developing language skills. Three variables were included in the discriminant analysis: a finite verb morpheme composite, a noun morpheme composite, and mean length of utterance in morphemes. The children with SLI and age-matched controls were discriminated with high levels of accuracy, though the three variables did not yield identical classifications. Across two samples of typically developing children and children with SLI, the verb morpheme composite showed sensitivity exceeding 85% and specificity of 100%. In light of these results and growing evidence that problems with finite verb morphology continue into the school years in children with SLI, the verb morpheme composite was considered to hold promise as a clinical marker for SLI.

Acknowledgments
The research reported in this paper was supported by research grant number 5 R01 DC 00-458 and by training grant T32 DC00030 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health. The authors would like to thank Anupama Joshi and Tom Kuczek for their assistance with the statistical analyses for this paper. We also appreciate Erika Gerber’s assistance in preparation of the data files for this study.
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