Response Latency and Verbal Complexity Stochastic Models of Individual Differences in Children With Specific Language Impairments Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 1997
Response Latency and Verbal Complexity
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Julia L. Evans
    Department of Psychology Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA
  • Kert Viele
    Department of Statistics University of Kentucky Lexington
  • Robert E. Kass
    Department of Statistics Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA
  • Julia L. Evans is currently affiliated with the Waisman Research Institute, Madison, WI.
    Julia L. Evans is currently affiliated with the Waisman Research Institute, Madison, WI.×
Article Information
Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 1997
Response Latency and Verbal Complexity
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1997, Vol. 40, 754-764. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4004.754
History: Received February 5, 1996 , Accepted January 22, 1997
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1997, Vol. 40, 754-764. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4004.754
History: Received February 5, 1996; Accepted January 22, 1997

Within-subject statistical modeling techniques were employed to investigate individual differences in the extent to which two possible indicators of processing time predicted changes in utterance complexity during spontaneous discourse for 10 children ages 7;1 to 10;1 with specific language impairments (SLI) who differed in receptive language abilities. The two indicators of processing time that were modeled were response latency and the use of a specific discourse marker (Verbal Pause) that provided children with additional time to respond. Longer response latencies were not a strong predictor of increased utterance length for any of the children. However, results indicated that children with better receptive skills used substantially more verbal pauses than children with both expressive and receptive deficits and that the use of these pauses was a strong predictor of increased utterance length for children with better comprehension skills.

Acknowledgments
This research is supported by Grant 5K08-DC900068 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health, to Dr. Evans, and Grant CA54852-04 from National Institutes of Health to Dr. Kass. The authors would like to thank Dr. Robin Chapman for her helpful suggestions and the referees and Associate Editor for their detailed review and comments on the submitted manuscript.
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