Effects of Onset- and Rhyme-Related Distractors on Phonological Processing in Children With Specific Language Impairment Purpose This study used the cross-modal picture–word interference task of P. J. Brooks and B. MacWhinney (2000)  to compare effects of phonologically related words on lexical access in children with specific language impairment (SLI). Method Children (7;1 [years;months]–11;2) named pictures while ignoring auditory distractors. Three stimulus asynchrony conditions ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2008
Effects of Onset- and Rhyme-Related Distractors on Phonological Processing in Children With Specific Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Liat Seiger-Gardner
    Lehman College and The Graduate Center, The City University of New York
  • Patricia J. Brooks
    The College of Staten Island and The Graduate Center, The City University of New York
  • Contact author: Liat Seiger-Gardner, Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Lehman College, The City University of New York, 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY 10468. E-mail: liat.seiger@lehman.cuny.edu.
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2008
Effects of Onset- and Rhyme-Related Distractors on Phonological Processing in Children With Specific Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2008, Vol. 51, 1263-1281. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/07-0079)
History: Received April 9, 2007 , Accepted January 29, 2008
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2008, Vol. 51, 1263-1281. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/07-0079)
History: Received April 9, 2007; Accepted January 29, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 28

Purpose This study used the cross-modal picture–word interference task of P. J. Brooks and B. MacWhinney (2000)  to compare effects of phonologically related words on lexical access in children with specific language impairment (SLI).

Method Children (7;1 [years;months]–11;2) named pictures while ignoring auditory distractors. Three stimulus asynchrony conditions varied the timing of distractors relative to the pictures. Experiment 1 presented onset-related (bell–bed), unrelated (clown–bed), neutral (go–bed), and identical (bed–bed) distractors. Experiment 2 presented rhyme-related instead of onset-related distractors (clock–sock).

Results Children with SLI produced longer reaction times (RTs) and more errors than their typical language development (TLD) peers. For children with SLI, onset-related distractors led to slower RTs than unrelated distractors (inhibition) when presented before the picture, and faster RTs (facilitation) when presented after the picture. Children with TLD showed facilitation from onset-related distractors when presented after the picture but no inhibition when presented before the picture. Both groups failed to show facilitation from rhyme-related distractors.

Conclusions The priming effects from onset-related distractors and lack of effects from rhyme-related distractors in SLI supports “just-in-time” incremental processing, similar to children with TLD. However, children with SLI experience phonological interference from members of a lexical cohort while accessing words. Results are discussed with respect to observed word finding and word learning difficulties in SLI.

Acknowledgments
The research was supported by a George N. Shuster Fellowship awarded to Liat Seiger-Gardner and by a City University of New York Collaborative Research Award to Patricia J. Brooks and K. Sailor. The authors wish to thank the parents and their children for their participation in the study. The authors also thank Marlin Cadavid and Kayon Nobles for their assistance with data collection and analysis, and Brian MacWhinney for his helpful comments.
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