Naming Errors of Children With Specific Language Impairment This paper explores why children with SLI are less accurate than peers in naming pictures. Subjects included 66 children with SLI (aged 4:3 to 9:7) with 2 subgroups, one with expressive-only language deficits (SLIexp) and one with receptive and expressive language deficits (SLImix), and 66 children with no language impairment ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 1999
Naming Errors of Children With Specific Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Margaret Lahey
    Emerson College Boston, MA
  • Jan Edwards
    Ohio State University Columbus
  • Contact author: Margaret Lahey, 1235 Main Street, Chatham, MA 02633
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 1999
Naming Errors of Children With Specific Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1999, Vol. 42, 195-205. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4201.195
History: Received October 20, 1997 , Accepted April 25, 1998
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1999, Vol. 42, 195-205. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4201.195
History: Received October 20, 1997; Accepted April 25, 1998

This paper explores why children with SLI are less accurate than peers in naming pictures. Subjects included 66 children with SLI (aged 4:3 to 9:7) with 2 subgroups, one with expressive-only language deficits (SLIexp) and one with receptive and expressive language deficits (SLImix), and 66 children with no language impairment (NLI). Children with SLI made more errors than children with NLI, and proportionally more of their errors were names of objects associated with the pictured object (e.g., shoe/ foot) and names that were phonologically related to the target than were those with NLI. The relative frequency of error types was related to pattern of language deficit; in comparison to their NLI peers, a greater proportion of SLIexp errors were phonological errors, and a greater proportion of the SLImix errors were semantic associated, semantic perceptual, and nonsemantic perseverative. The proportion of semantic-associated errors also discriminated a subgroup of the children with SLIexp from a matched subgroup of the children with SLImix. Interpretations and potential implications are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by NIDCD Grant #DC00676 awarded to Margaret Lahey and Jan Edwards, by Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Grant #12–256 to Margaret Lahey by the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, by PSC-CUNY Grant #669476 to Jan Edwards, and by a grant from The Institutes of Communication Studies at Emerson College to Margaret Lahey. For their help with data collection and other aspects of the study, we thank Suzanne Boyce, Amy Ebersole, Sarita Eisenberg, Bernadette Kuntz, Sarah Letsky, Benjamin Munson, Ita Olsen, Shari Diamond Rosen, Gayle Rothman, Bonnie Singer, and Traci Wells-Hamilton. For help with computer programs, we thank Philip Enny, and for helpful comments on an earlier version of this paper, we thank Lois Bloom and Naomi Schiff-Myers. Finally, we thank the institutions that helped us locate the children, the parents who gave their consent and completed the questionnaires, and the children who participated in the study.
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