Grammatical Morphology and the Role of Weak Syllables in the Speech of Italian-Speaking Children With Specific Language Impairment Italian-speaking children with specific language impairment (SLI) were compared to a group of younger control children in their use of auxiliary verbs, pronominal clitics, infinitives, present tense verb inflections, and articles. Differences favoring the control children were found for those morphemes that required the production of nonfinal weak syllables. On ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1998
Grammatical Morphology and the Role of Weak Syllables in the Speech of Italian-Speaking Children With Specific Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Laurence B. Leonard
    Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
  • Umberta Bortolini
    Centro di Fonetica del CNR Padova, Italia
  • Contact author: Laurence B. Leonard, PhD, Audiology and Speech Sciences, Heavilon Hall, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1998
Grammatical Morphology and the Role of Weak Syllables in the Speech of Italian-Speaking Children With Specific Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1998, Vol. 41, 1363-1374. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4106.1363
History: Received November 3, 1997 , Accepted March 31, 1998
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1998, Vol. 41, 1363-1374. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4106.1363
History: Received November 3, 1997; Accepted March 31, 1998

Italian-speaking children with specific language impairment (SLI) were compared to a group of younger control children in their use of auxiliary verbs, pronominal clitics, infinitives, present tense verb inflections, and articles. Differences favoring the control children were found for those morphemes that required the production of nonfinal weak syllables. On other grammatical morphemes, the two groups did not differ. A relationship was seen between the use of morphemes requiring nonfinal weak syllables and the use of nonfinal weak syllables that had no morpheme status. The findings are considered from the perspective of both prosodic production limitations and limitations in input processing.

Acknowledgments
The research reported in this paper was supported by research grant number 5 R01 DC 00-458 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health, and by a grant from the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche. The authors thank their colleague M. Cristina Caselli for making available the data from the normally developing children reported in this study. Thanks also to Carol Miller and Bernard Grela for their comments and technical assistance.
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