Tense Marking and Spontaneous Speech Measures in Spanish Specific Language Impairment: A Discriminant Function Analysis PurposeTo test the proposal that the tense deficit that has been demonstrated for children with specific language impairment (SLI) in other languages is also found in child Spanish and that low performance on tense-related measures can distinguish Spanish-speaking children with SLI from those without.MethodThe authors evaluated evidence from existing spontaneous ... Article
Article  |   February 01, 2013
Tense Marking and Spontaneous Speech Measures in Spanish Specific Language Impairment: A Discriminant Function Analysis
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • John Grinstead
    The Ohio State University
  • Alisa Baron
    The Ohio State University
  • Mariana Vega-Mendoza
    The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Juliana De la Mora
    West Virginia University
  • Myriam Cantú-Sánchez
    La Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  • Blanca Flores
    Instituto Nacional de Rehabilitación, Mexico City, México
  • Correspondence to John Grinstead: grinstead.11@osu.edu
  • Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor: Janna Oetting×
  • Associate Editor: Lisa Bedore
    Associate Editor: Lisa Bedore×
Article Information
Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language
Article   |   February 01, 2013
Tense Marking and Spontaneous Speech Measures in Spanish Specific Language Impairment: A Discriminant Function Analysis
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2013, Vol. 56, 352-363. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0289)
History: Received October 27, 2011 , Revised March 14, 2012 , Accepted June 26, 2012
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2013, Vol. 56, 352-363. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0289)
History: Received October 27, 2011; Revised March 14, 2012; Accepted June 26, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 8

PurposeTo test the proposal that the tense deficit that has been demonstrated for children with specific language impairment (SLI) in other languages is also found in child Spanish and that low performance on tense-related measures can distinguish Spanish-speaking children with SLI from those without.

MethodThe authors evaluated evidence from existing spontaneous production, elicited production, and grammaticality judgment studies of finiteness in child Spanish. They measured the relationship of 7 spontaneous speech measures with previous receptive and expressive measures of finiteness and performed a discriminant function analysis, using tense as the target variable, to classify monolingual child Spanish (n = 55) as representing SLI or as typically developing (TD).

ResultsSpontaneous speech measures correlated with the results of previous receptive and expressive measures of child Spanish that show a tense deficit. The SLI group was shown to have statistically lower scores than the TD group on 6 of 7 spontaneous speech measures. Multiple discriminant functions, including tense measures by themselves and in combination with spontaneous speech measures, were shown to provide fair to good sensitivity and specificity in the classification of children as having SLI vs. TD.

ConclusionThe findings support the contention that the tense-marking deficit is a plausible clinical marker of SLI for Spanish-speaking children.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by an Arts and Sciences Innovation grant from The Ohio State University (OSU) awarded to John Grinstead as well as by an undergraduate research fellowship awarded to Alisa Baron. Preliminary results of this study were presented at the 2011 Symposium on Research in Child Language Disorders, Madison, WI. We are indebted to Steven Naber of the Statistics Consulting Center in the Department of Statistics at OSU; Ann O’Connell of the Quantitative Research, Evaluation and Measurement section of the School of Education at OSU; and Michael Edwards of the Quantitative Program of the Psychology Department at OSU for their help with statistical considerations. We are also grateful for discussion of these issues with the Language Acquisition Discussion Group at OSU. We are especially grateful to Paij Lintz for her generous help with our reliability calculations; to Silvia Romero for her discussion of the Batería de Evaluación de la Lengua Española; to Yolanda Cabré-Sans for discussion of bilingualism in Catalunya; and to Laida Restrepo for discussions of our errors per T unit results.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access