What Do Children With Specific Language Impairment Do With Multiple Forms of DO? PurposeThis study was designed to examine the early usage patterns of multiple grammatical functions of DO in children with and without specific language impairment (SLI). Children’s use of this plurifunctional form is informative for evaluation of theoretical accounts of the deficit in SLI.MethodSpontaneous uses of multiple functions of DO were ... Article
Article  |   February 01, 2013
What Do Children With Specific Language Impairment Do With Multiple Forms of DO?
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mabel L. Rice
    University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Megan Blossom
    University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Correspondence to Mabel L. Rice: mabel@ku.edu
  • Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor: Janna Oetting×
  • Associate Editor: Jessica Barlow
    Associate Editor: Jessica Barlow×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language
Article   |   February 01, 2013
What Do Children With Specific Language Impairment Do With Multiple Forms of DO?
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2013, Vol. 56, 222-235. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0107)
History: Received May 3, 2011 , Accepted May 18, 2012
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2013, Vol. 56, 222-235. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0107)
History: Received May 3, 2011; Accepted May 18, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

PurposeThis study was designed to examine the early usage patterns of multiple grammatical functions of DO in children with and without specific language impairment (SLI). Children’s use of this plurifunctional form is informative for evaluation of theoretical accounts of the deficit in SLI.

MethodSpontaneous uses of multiple functions of DO were analyzed in language samples from 89 children: 37 children with SLI, ages 5;0–5;6 (years;months); 37 age-equivalent children; and 15 language-equivalent children, ages 2;8–4;10. Proportion correct and types of errors produced were analyzed for each function of DO.

ResultsChildren with SLI had significantly lower levels of proportion correct auxiliary DO use compared to both control groups, with omissions of the DO form as the primary error type. Children with SLI had near-ceiling performance on lexical DO and elliptical DO, similar to both control groups.

ConclusionsPlurifunctionality is not problematic: Children acquire each function of DO separately. Grammatical properties of the function, rather than surface properties of the form, dictate whether children with SLI will have difficulty using the word. Overall, these results support the extended optional infinitive account of SLI and the use of auxiliary DO omissions as part of a clinical marker for SLI.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by National Institutes of Health Grants T32DC000052, P30DC005803, R01DC001803, and R01DC005226, awarded to the first author, as well as by University of Kansas Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center Grant P30HD002528, awarded to John Columbo. The study is based on a thesis completed by the second author in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master of Arts degree at the University of Kansas. Portions of the study were reported at the Symposium on Research in Child Language Disorders, Madison, Wisconsin, June 2010, and at the Boston University Conference on Language Development, November 2010, Boston, Massachusetts. We thank past and present research assistants and students in the Language Acquisition Studies laboratory at the University of Kansas for data collection and data processing, Denise Perpich for her assistance with data processing and summaries, and the participating children and their families for their time and effort.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access