Word Learning by Preschoolers With SLI: Effect of Phonotactic Probability and Object Familiarity PurposeIn this study, the authors investigated whether previous findings of a low phonotactic probability/unfamiliar object word-learning advantage in preschoolers could be replicated, whether this advantage would be apparent at different “stages” of word learning, and whether findings would differ for preschoolers with specific language impairment (SLI) and typical development (TD).MethodParticipants ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2012
Word Learning by Preschoolers With SLI: Effect of Phonotactic Probability and Object Familiarity
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Shelley Gray
    Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Shara Brinkley
    Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Dubravka Svetina
    Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Correspondence to Shelley Gray: Shelley.Gray@asu.edu
  • Dubravka Svetina is now affiliated with the Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology, Indiana University.
    Dubravka Svetina is now affiliated with the Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology, Indiana University.×
  • Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor: Janna Oetting×
  • Associate Editor: Diane Loeb
    Associate Editor: Diane Loeb×
Article Information
Development / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language
Article   |   October 01, 2012
Word Learning by Preschoolers With SLI: Effect of Phonotactic Probability and Object Familiarity
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2012, Vol. 55, 1289-1300. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0095)
History: Received April 15, 2011 , Revised August 21, 2011 , Accepted January 29, 2012
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2012, Vol. 55, 1289-1300. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0095)
History: Received April 15, 2011; Revised August 21, 2011; Accepted January 29, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 8

PurposeIn this study, the authors investigated whether previous findings of a low phonotactic probability/unfamiliar object word-learning advantage in preschoolers could be replicated, whether this advantage would be apparent at different “stages” of word learning, and whether findings would differ for preschoolers with specific language impairment (SLI) and typical development (TD).

MethodParticipants included 114 children: 40 with SLI, 39 with TD matched for age and gender, and 35 with TD matched for expressive vocabulary and gender. Comprehension and production were assessed during word learning and at post-test for words that varied in phonotactic probability and object familiarity.

ResultsAcross groups, comprehension performance increased significantly from Day 1 to Day 2 and from Day 2 to Day 3, but there was no significant word/object type effect. Production performance increased significantly from Day 1 to Day 2, from Day 2 to Day 3, and from Day 3 to Day 4 for all groups, and there was a clear low phonotactic probability/unfamiliar object advantage during word learning but not at post-test.

ConclusionResults help to establish that preschoolers with TD and SLI show a low phonotactic probability/unfamiliar object production advantage during word learning that is not restricted to the first few exposures to words, but continues over time. This study illustrates how the interaction of phonological characteristics in nascent and extant words can affect word learning.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant 5R01DC7417-2, awarded to the first author. Portions of these data were presented at the 2011 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention in San Diego, CA.
We sincerely appreciate the participation of children, families, and staff from the following school districts and preschools: Chandler Unified School District, Mesa Public Schools, Kyrene School District #28, Scottsdale Unified School District, Bright Horizons Family Solutions in Chandler and Tempe, Cactus Preschool in Tempe, the Campus Children’s Center, First Congregational Preschool, Fit N Fun Children’s Center, Little Explorers Preschool and Childcare, Maxwell Preschool Academy in Chandler, Success Center Family Child Care, Tempe Christian School, and Valley Children’s Center in Chandler.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access