Interaction of Language Processing and Motor Skill in Children With Specific Language Impairment PurposeTo examine how language production interacts with speech motor and gross and fine motor skill in children with specific language impairment (SLI).MethodEleven children with SLI and 12 age-matched peers (4–6 years) produced structurally primed sentences containing particles and prepositions. Utterances were analyzed for errors and for articulatory duration and variability. ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2014
Interaction of Language Processing and Motor Skill in Children With Specific Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Andrea C. DiDonato Brumbach
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Lisa Goffman
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Lisa Goffman: goffman@purdue.edu
  • Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor: Janna Oetting×
  • Associate Editor: Marc Joanisse
    Associate Editor: Marc Joanisse×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language
Research Article   |   February 01, 2014
Interaction of Language Processing and Motor Skill in Children With Specific Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2014, Vol. 57, 158-171. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0215)
History: Received July 4, 2012 , Revised December 19, 2012 , Accepted May 14, 2013
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2014, Vol. 57, 158-171. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0215)
History: Received July 4, 2012; Revised December 19, 2012; Accepted May 14, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

PurposeTo examine how language production interacts with speech motor and gross and fine motor skill in children with specific language impairment (SLI).

MethodEleven children with SLI and 12 age-matched peers (4–6 years) produced structurally primed sentences containing particles and prepositions. Utterances were analyzed for errors and for articulatory duration and variability. Standard measures of motor, language, and articulation skill were also obtained.

ResultsSentences containing particles, as compared with prepositions, were less likely to be produced in a priming task and were longer in duration, suggesting increased difficulty with this syntactic structure. Children with SLI demonstrated higher articulatory variability and poorer gross and fine motor skills compared with aged-matched controls. Articulatory variability was correlated with generalized gross and fine motor performance.

ConclusionsChildren with SLI show co-occurring speech motor and generalized motor deficits. Current theories do not fully account for the present findings, though the procedural deficit hypothesis provides a framework for interpreting overlap among language and motor domains.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R01 DC04826. Andrea C. DiDonato Brumbach was also supported by the Frederick N. Andrews Fellowship from Purdue University. Portions of the research were presented at the Symposium for Research in Child Language Disorders, Madison, WI. We thank Laurence Leonard and Elaine Francis for their guidance and expertise and Janna Berlin, Pat Deevy, Brooke Adams, Kelsey Pithoud, Rachel Brunner, Michelle Wiersma, and Ilana Feld for their invaluable contributions. We are also grateful to the children and families who participated in this study.
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