Object and Action Naming in Children With Specific Language Impairment PurposeIn this study, the authors aimed to examine the accuracy, latency, and errors of noun (object) and verb (action) naming in children with and without specific language impairment (SLI) and to determine whether children with SLI have a particularly large noun–verb performance gap.MethodChildren with SLI, age-matched peers (AM), and expressive ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2010
Object and Action Naming in Children With Specific Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Li Sheng
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Karla K. McGregor
    University of Iowa
  • Contact author: Li Sheng, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Texas at Austin, One University Station, A1100, Austin, TX 78712. E-mail: li.sheng@mail.utexas.edu.
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language
Article   |   December 01, 2010
Object and Action Naming in Children With Specific Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2010, Vol. 53, 1704-1719. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0180)
History: Received August 19, 2009 , Revised January 29, 2010 , Accepted April 16, 2010
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2010, Vol. 53, 1704-1719. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0180)
History: Received August 19, 2009; Revised January 29, 2010; Accepted April 16, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 31

PurposeIn this study, the authors aimed to examine the accuracy, latency, and errors of noun (object) and verb (action) naming in children with and without specific language impairment (SLI) and to determine whether children with SLI have a particularly large noun–verb performance gap.

MethodChildren with SLI, age-matched peers (AM), and expressive vocabulary–matched peers (VM) named 120 matched object and action pictures in a computerized confrontation naming task.

ResultsThe SLI and VM groups demonstrated comparable naming latency and accuracy; both were slower and less accurate than the AM group. Object naming was more accurate than action naming in the SLI and VM groups; their noun–verb performance gaps were comparable. Object naming was faster than action naming in all children. In comparison with the AM group, the SLI group made proportionally fewer taxonomic errors and more omission errors when naming objects, and fewer misperception errors when naming actions.

ConclusionsThe naming abilities of children with SLI, although deficient given their chronological age, are commensurate with their vocabulary level. Their naming errors suggest immaturities in semantic representation. Action naming is significantly more difficult than object naming, but the noun–verb gap that characterizes the performance of children with SLI is appropriate for their vocabulary level.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant 2 R01 DC003698-06, awarded to the second author. Portions of these data were presented at the 29th Annual Symposium on Research in Child Language Disorders in Madison, WI. We thank the children and their families who participated in this study.
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