The Production of Complement Clauses in Children With Language Impairment Purpose The purpose of this research was to provide a comprehensive description of complement-clause production in children with language impairment. Complement clauses were examined with respect to types of complement structure produced, verb use, and both semantic and syntactic accuracy. Method A group of 17 children with language ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2016
The Production of Complement Clauses in Children With Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Gillian Steel
    La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia
  • Miranda Rose
    La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia
  • Patricia Eadie
    University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 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 Gillian Steel: G.Steel@latrobe.edu.au
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Andrew Whitehouse
    Associate Editor: Andrew Whitehouse×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2016
The Production of Complement Clauses in Children With Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2016, Vol. 59, 330-341. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-15-0001
History: Received January 1, 2015 , Revised June 20, 2015 , Accepted August 29, 2015
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2016, Vol. 59, 330-341. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-15-0001
History: Received January 1, 2015; Revised June 20, 2015; Accepted August 29, 2015

Purpose The purpose of this research was to provide a comprehensive description of complement-clause production in children with language impairment. Complement clauses were examined with respect to types of complement structure produced, verb use, and both semantic and syntactic accuracy.

Method A group of 17 children with language impairment (mean age = 6;10 [years; months]) was compared with a group of 17 younger children with typical language development (mean age = 4;6). Examples of both nonfinite complements with different subjects and sentential complements involving a range of complement-taking verbs were collected using specially designed elicitation tasks.

Results The children with language impairment were able to construct both types of complement clauses, had access to a range of verbs that are utilized within these constructions, and had knowledge of the grammatical constraints imposed by these verbs. However, they were more restricted in their production of sentential complements and produced significantly fewer semantically accurate complements (both finite and nonfinite) than the children with typical language development.

Conclusion Children with language impairment evidenced deviant rather than merely delayed development in the area of complement-clause production. Complex sentences such as complement clauses need to be targeted in language intervention programs.

Acknowledgment
The second author completed this work while an Australian Research Council Future Fellow (FT100100446).
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