Children's Auditory Lexical Decisions A Limited Processing Capacity Account of Language Impairment Research Article
Research Article  |   August 1999
Children's Auditory Lexical Decisions
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jennifer Windsor
    University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN
  • Mina Hwang
    University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN
  • Contact author: Jennifer Windsor, PhD, Department of Communication Disorders, 115 Shevlin Hall, University of Minnesota, 164 Pillsbury Drive S.E., Minneapolis, MN, 55455.
    Contact author: Jennifer Windsor, PhD, Department of Communication Disorders, 115 Shevlin Hall, University of Minnesota, 164 Pillsbury Drive S.E., Minneapolis, MN, 55455.×
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: windsor@umn.edu
Article Information
Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 1999
Children's Auditory Lexical Decisions
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1999, Vol. 42, 990-1002. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4204.990
History: Received August 6, 1998 , Accepted February 25, 1999
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1999, Vol. 42, 990-1002. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4204.990
History: Received August 6, 1998; Accepted February 25, 1999

Twenty-three school-age children with language impairments (LI) and 46 typically achieving children participated in 2 auditory lexical decision tasks. Effects of phonological opacity (i.e., stress and vowel changes involved in forming derivatives from a base word) on word recognition were investigated. In one task, children made lexical decisions about phonologically transparent real derivatives (e.g., hatless) and pseudo derivatives (e.g., *quickless). In this task, children with LI showed only subtle deficits compared to their chronological-age (CA) peers. In the other task, children made lexical decisions about phonologically opaque real derivatives (e.g., acidity) and pseudo derivatives (e.g., *combinity) as well as transparent derivatives. In this task, children with LI were substantially less accurate than were CA children in identifying phonologically opaque real derivatives and were slower to do so than both CA and language-age (LA) children. Children in the LI and LA groups were slower than children in the CA group to identify phonologically opaque pseudo derivatives. These results are interpreted within a limited processing capacity account of language impairment.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
This research was supported by a grant to the first author from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (R29-DC02402). The article is based on a poster presented at the Symposium for Research on Child Language Disorders, Madison, WI, May 1997. Thanks are extended to Bart Cuderman, Martha Malkasian, Susan Marietta, Kathleen Niznick, Manisha Patel, Kiersten Toepel, Kari Urberg Carlson, and Jane Willis for their help in creating the stimulus materials and administering the experimental tasks.
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