A Method for Examining Productivity of Grammatical Morphology in Children With and Without Specific Language Impairment Children with specific language impairment (SLI) show inconsistent use of grammatical morphology. Children who are developing language typically also show a period during which they produce grammatical morphemes inconsistently. Various theories claim that both young typically developing children and children with SLI achieve correct production through memorization of some inflected ... Research Note
Research Note  |   October 01, 2003
A Method for Examining Productivity of Grammatical Morphology in Children With and Without Specific Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Carol A. Miller
    The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  • Patricia Deevy
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Contact author: Carol A. Miller, PhD, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, 110 Moore Building, University Park, PA 16802. E-mail: cam47@psu.edu
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language / Research Note
Research Note   |   October 01, 2003
A Method for Examining Productivity of Grammatical Morphology in Children With and Without Specific Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2003, Vol. 46, 1154-1165. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/090)
History: Received July 3, 2002 , Accepted March 4, 2003
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2003, Vol. 46, 1154-1165. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/090)
History: Received July 3, 2002; Accepted March 4, 2003
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

Children with specific language impairment (SLI) show inconsistent use of grammatical morphology. Children who are developing language typically also show a period during which they produce grammatical morphemes inconsistently. Various theories claim that both young typically developing children and children with SLI achieve correct production through memorization of some inflected forms (M. Gopnik, 1997; M. Tomasello, 2000a, 2000b). Adapting a method introduced by C. Miller and L. Leonard (1998), the authors investigated the use of present tense third singular -s by 24 typically developing preschoolers and 36 preschoolers with SLI. Each group was divided into 2 mean length of utterance (MLU) levels. Group and individual data provided little evidence that memorization could explain the correct productions of the third singular morpheme for either children with SLI or typically developing children, and there was no difference between children with higher and lower MLUs.

Acknowledgments
This research was presented, in an abbreviated form, at the Boston University Conference on Language Development, November 2000. The work was supported in part by NIDCD postdoctoral training fellowship 5 T32 DC00030-10 to Purdue University and the NIDCD research grant R01 DC00458 to Dr. Laurence Leonard. Many thanks to Dr. Leonard for helpful suggestions for this paper.
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