Development of Morphosyntactic Accuracy and Grammatical Complexity in Dutch School-Age Children With SLI Purpose The purpose of this study was to identify the development of morphosyntactic accuracy and grammatical complexity in Dutch school-age children with specific language impairment (SLI). Method Morphosyntactic accuracy, the use of dummy auxiliaries, and complex syntax were assessed using a narrative task that was administered at three ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2015
Development of Morphosyntactic Accuracy and Grammatical Complexity in Dutch School-Age Children With SLI
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Rob Zwitserlood
    Royal Dutch Auris Group, Gouda, the Netherlands
    Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
  • Marjolijn van Weerdenburg
    Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands
  • Ludo Verhoeven
    Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands
  • Frank Wijnen
    Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
  • 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 Rob Zwitserlood: r.zwitserlood@gmail.com
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Sandra Gillam
    Associate Editor: Sandra Gillam×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2015
Development of Morphosyntactic Accuracy and Grammatical Complexity in Dutch School-Age Children With SLI
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2015, Vol. 58, 891-905. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-14-0015
History: Received January 17, 2014 , Revised January 13, 2015 , Accepted February 26, 2015
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2015, Vol. 58, 891-905. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-14-0015
History: Received January 17, 2014; Revised January 13, 2015; Accepted February 26, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose The purpose of this study was to identify the development of morphosyntactic accuracy and grammatical complexity in Dutch school-age children with specific language impairment (SLI).

Method Morphosyntactic accuracy, the use of dummy auxiliaries, and complex syntax were assessed using a narrative task that was administered at three points in time (T1, T2, T3) with 12-month intervals during a 2-year period. Participants were 30 monolingual Dutch children with SLI, age 6;5 (years;months) at T1; 30 typically developing peers, age 6;6 at T1; and 30 typically developing language-matched children, age 4;7 at T1.

Results On the morphosyntactic accuracy measures, the group with SLI performed more poorly than both control groups. Error rates in the group with SLI were much higher than expected on the basis of mean length of T-units and scores on standardized language tests. Percentages of dummy auxiliaries remained high over time. No group differences were found for grammatical complexity, except at T3, when the group with SLI used fewer relative clauses than the typically developing peer group.

Conclusions The narrative analysis demonstrates different developmental trajectories for morphosyntactic accuracy and grammatical complexity in children with SLI and typically developing peer and language-matched children. In the group with SLI, grammatical skills continue to develop.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by the Royal Dutch Auris Group. We thank Cito for their kind permission to use the images of the Dutch Language Proficiency Test for All Children storytelling tasks. We also thank the children, parents, and staff of all the schools that participated, and we appreciate Marij van Ewijk, Henaly Leijenhorst, Marjolein van der Horst, and Merel van Witteloostuijn for their help with the transcriptions.
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