Processing and Linguistic Markers in Young Children With Specific Language Impairment (SLI) Thirty-two 5-year-old children with specific language impairment (SLI) and 32 chronological age (CA) controls completed 4 tasks that were considered potential positive markers for SLI. Children's performance on 2 linguistic tasks (past tense and noun plurals task) and 2 processing tasks (nonword repetition and digit recall) were examined. This approach ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2003
Processing and Linguistic Markers in Young Children With Specific Language Impairment (SLI)
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Gina Conti-Ramsden
    University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Contact author: Gina Conti-Ramsden, PhD, Human Communication and Deafness, School of Education, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, United Kingdom. E-mail: gina.conti-ramsden@man.ac.uk
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2003
Processing and Linguistic Markers in Young Children With Specific Language Impairment (SLI)
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2003, Vol. 46, 1029-1037. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/082)
History: Received May 8, 2002 , Accepted February 6, 2003
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2003, Vol. 46, 1029-1037. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/082)
History: Received May 8, 2002; Accepted February 6, 2003
Web of Science® Times Cited: 137

Thirty-two 5-year-old children with specific language impairment (SLI) and 32 chronological age (CA) controls completed 4 tasks that were considered potential positive markers for SLI. Children's performance on 2 linguistic tasks (past tense and noun plurals task) and 2 processing tasks (nonword repetition and digit recall) were examined. This approach allowed the examination of more than 1 type of marker simultaneously, facilitating both comparisons between markers and also the evaluation of combinations of markers in relation to identifying SLI. Children with SLI performed significantly worse than CA controls in all 4 marker tasks. Specificity/sensitivity analysis of the 4 marker tasks revealed nonword repetition and the past tense task to have the best overall accuracy at the 25th and 16th percentile. Finally, stepwise discriminant analysis revealed nonword repetition and past tense marking to be the best markers for identifying young children with SLI.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by a grant from the Wellcome Trust (Project No. 053456) awarded to Gina Conti-Ramsden. Thanks to Brian Faragher for his statistical advice, Amy Skipp for her help with the data collection, and the schools and families who helped make this research possible. Many thanks to Kirsten Windfuhr and Kate Joseph for their help with the database and analysis.
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