Morphology and Syntax in Late Talkers at Age 5 Purpose This study reports age 5 morphology and syntax skills in late talkers identified at age 2 (n = 34) and typically developing comparison children (n = 20). Results The late talkers manifested significant morphological delays at ages 3 and 4 relative to comparison peers. Based on the ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2015
Morphology and Syntax in Late Talkers at Age 5
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Leslie Rescorla
    Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA
  • Hannah L. Turner
    MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, MA
  • 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 Leslie Rescorla: lrescorl@brynmawr.edu
    Correspondence to Leslie Rescorla: lrescorl@brynmawr.edu×
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Linda Watson
    Associate Editor: Linda Watson×
Article Information
Special Populations / Language Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2015
Morphology and Syntax in Late Talkers at Age 5
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2015, Vol. 58, 434-444. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-14-0042
History: Received February 11, 2014 , Revised August 1, 2014 , Accepted December 17, 2014
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2015, Vol. 58, 434-444. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-14-0042
History: Received February 11, 2014; Revised August 1, 2014; Accepted December 17, 2014
Web of Science® Times Cited: 4

Purpose This study reports age 5 morphology and syntax skills in late talkers identified at age 2 (n = 34) and typically developing comparison children (n = 20).

Results The late talkers manifested significant morphological delays at ages 3 and 4 relative to comparison peers. Based on the 14 morphemes analyzed at age 5, the only significant group difference was on the third person regular –s inflection. This was also the only significant difference when we compared late talkers with continuing delay, late bloomers (who scored within 1 standard deviation of the comparison group in mean length of utterance), and typically developing peers. The late talker and comparison children differed greatly in mean total scores on the Index of Productive Syntax (Scarborough, 1990), a measure of syntactic complexity. The group with continuing delay scored significantly lower on the IPSyn than the late bloomer and typically developing groups, which did not differ from each other.

Conclusions Findings are consistent with the higher order language group differences found through adolescence in these late talkers relative to comparison peers with similar socioeconomic status and similar nonverbal abilities, supporting the notion that late talkers have an ongoing weakness in language endowment that manifests differently over the course of development.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by grants from the Bryn Mawr College Faculty Research fund, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Grant 1-R15-HD22355-01, and National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R01-DC00807. We wish to thank the parents and children whose participation made this research possible.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access