Auditory Lexical Decisions of Children With Specific Language Impairment To determine whether children with specific language impairment (SLI) take longer than age peers to recognize sequences of sounds that represent words in their lexicon, we compared auditory lexical decision times of children with SLI to those of typically developing age peers. Children with SLI were significantly slower than peers, ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1996
Auditory Lexical Decisions of Children With Specific Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jan Edwards
    The Ohio State University Columbus
  • Margaret Lahey
    Emerson College Boston, MA
  • Contact author: Jan Edwards, Department of Speech and Hearing Science, 110 Pressey Hall, 1070 Carmack Road, Columbus, OH 43210. Email: edwards.212@osu.edu
Article Information
Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1996
Auditory Lexical Decisions of Children With Specific Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1996, Vol. 39, 1263-1273. doi:10.1044/jshr.3906.1263
History: Received September 15, 1995 , Accepted June 4, 1996
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1996, Vol. 39, 1263-1273. doi:10.1044/jshr.3906.1263
History: Received September 15, 1995; Accepted June 4, 1996

To determine whether children with specific language impairment (SLI) take longer than age peers to recognize sequences of sounds that represent words in their lexicon, we compared auditory lexical decision times of children with SLI to those of typically developing age peers. Children with SLI were significantly slower than peers, but speed of word recognition was not correlated with measures of language comprehension for children with SLI. Furthermore, time to detect an auditory signal and initiate a vocal response did not account for the differences between groups. Possible interpretations of the results are discussed with two explanations—differences between groups in task-related factors that stressed processing capacity or in the nature of phonetic/phonological representations—seeming more likely than others.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by NIDCD grant #DC00676 awarded to Margaret Lahey and Jan Edwards; by PSC-CUNY grant #669465 to Jan Edwards; by Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Grant #12-256 from the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation to Margaret Lahey; 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 this study, we thank Suzanne Boyce, Shari Diamond, Amy Ebersole, Sarita Eisenberg, Bernadette Kuntz, Sara Letsky, Ita Olsen, Gayle Rothman, and Bonnie Singer. For help with computer programs, we thank Philip Enny; for assistance on the signal detection analysis, we thank Larry Feth; for advice on the statistical analyses, we thank Neal Johnson and Fred Ruland; and for comments on an earlier version of this paper, we thank Marios Fourakis, Christine Dollaghan, and two anonymous reviewers. Finally, we thank the people and institutions that helped us locate the children, the parents who gave their consent, and the children who participated in the study.
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