Evaluating the Morphological Competence of Children With Severe Speech and Physical Impairments Reports present mixed findings on the extent to which the development of receptive language skills in children with severe speech and physical impairments (SSPI) is compromised by their difficulty with speaking (V. W. Berninger & B. M. Gans, 1986; D. V. M. Bishop, B. Byers Brown, & J. Robson, 1990; ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2001
Evaluating the Morphological Competence of Children With Severe Speech and Physical Impairments
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sean M. Redmond
    Department of Communication Disorders University of Utah Salt Lake City
  • Susan S. Johnston
    Department of Special Education University of Utah Salt Lake City
Article Information
Development / Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2001
Evaluating the Morphological Competence of Children With Severe Speech and Physical Impairments
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2001, Vol. 44, 1362-1375. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2001/106)
History: Received March 3, 2001 , Accepted September 5, 2001
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2001, Vol. 44, 1362-1375. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2001/106)
History: Received March 3, 2001; Accepted September 5, 2001
Web of Science® Times Cited: 10

Reports present mixed findings on the extent to which the development of receptive language skills in children with severe speech and physical impairments (SSPI) is compromised by their difficulty with speaking (V. W. Berninger & B. M. Gans, 1986; D. V. M. Bishop, B. Byers Brown, & J. Robson, 1990; O. Udwin & W. Yule, 1990). In this study, grammaticality judgments were used to measure the sensitivity of 4 school-age children with SSPI to different morphological errors. These errors included violations of agreement between the subject and auxiliary verbs (e.g., she are falling), the marking of aspect (e.g., she is play the horn), and the marking of past tense on regular and irregular verbs (e.g., he jump, he fall, he falled). Performance of the participants with SSPI was compared to groups of typically developing children and adults. Results indicated that children in the SSPI and control groups made similar judgments. All groups showed high levels of sensitivity to agreement violations, aspect-marking errors, and tense-marking errors involving irregular verbs. Participants with SSPI had greater difficulty detecting tense-marking errors involving regular verbs. Implications for improving clinical assessments within this population are discussed.

Acknowledgments
The authors wish to thank members of the Utah Augmentative Alternative Assistive Communication Technology Team and teachers from the Professional Childcare and Learning Center for their assistance in recruiting potential participants. We also thank Carol Hammond and Robin Ottesen for their contributions to data collection and reliability measurement. We are especially grateful for the generosity of the children and adults who participated in this study.
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