Phonological Priming With Nonwords in Children With and Without Specific Language Impairment Purpose The cross-modal picture–word interference task is used to examine contextual effects on spoken-word production. Previous work has documented lexical–phonological interference in children with specific language impairment (SLI) when a related distractor (e.g., bell) occurs prior to a picture to be named (e.g., a bed). In the current study, the ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2015
Phonological Priming With Nonwords in Children With and Without Specific Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Patricia J. Brooks
    College of Staten Island and The Graduate Center, CUNY
  • Liat Seiger-Gardner
    Lehman College, CUNY, Bronx
  • Rita Obeid
    The Graduate Center, CUNY, New York
  • Brian MacWhinney
    Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 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 Patricia J. Brooks: patricia.brooks@csi.cuny.edu
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Ann Tyler
    Associate Editor: Ann Tyler×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2015
Phonological Priming With Nonwords in Children With and Without Specific Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2015, Vol. 58, 1210-1223. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-14-0212
History: Received August 5, 2014 , Revised January 12, 2015 , Accepted April 19, 2015
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2015, Vol. 58, 1210-1223. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-14-0212
History: Received August 5, 2014; Revised January 12, 2015; Accepted April 19, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose The cross-modal picture–word interference task is used to examine contextual effects on spoken-word production. Previous work has documented lexical–phonological interference in children with specific language impairment (SLI) when a related distractor (e.g., bell) occurs prior to a picture to be named (e.g., a bed). In the current study, the authors examined whether interference also arises with nonwords as distractors.

Method In Study 1, children with SLI (N = 20; ages 7;1 [years;months] to 11;0) and age-matched controls named pictures accompanied by (a) phonologically related nonwords, (b) unrelated nonwords, or (c) the word go (baseline). Stimulus asynchrony (SA) varied across blocks with distractors occurring prior to (−300 ms, −100 ms) or after (+100 ms, +300 ms) the pictures. In Study 2, a cross-sectional sample of children (N = 48, 5;3 to 10;9) and adults (N = 16) performed the same task.

Results Child and adult control participants showed phonological priming (not interference) at early and late SAs, whereas children with SLI showed priming only at late SAs. Effect sizes correlated with language skills (Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals–Fourth Edition scores; Semel, Wiig, & Secord, 2003). In the cross-sectional sample, anticipatory priming at SA −300 varied with age, with larger effects in older children.

Conclusions Children with SLI utilize phonological information when it is available just in time for word production but fail to anticipate upcoming stimuli. Poor anticipatory processing may adversely affect language fluency in children with SLI.

Acknowledgments
The research was supported by a Shuster Fellowship awarded to L. Seiger-Gardner. The authors thank the families that participated; Olidia Valencia, Christine Neumayer, Arianna Miskin, and Christina Grenoble for their assistance with data collection; and Kevin Sailor for statistical consultation.
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