Distributional Learning in College Students With Developmental Language Disorder Purpose This study examined whether college students with developmental language disorder (DLD) could use distributional information in an artificial language to learn about grammatical category membership in a way similar to their typically developing (TD) peers. Method Seventeen college students with DLD and 17 TD college students participated ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 09, 2017
Distributional Learning in College Students With Developmental Language Disorder
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jessica Hall
    The University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Amanda Owen Van Horne
    The University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Karla K. McGregor
    The University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Thomas Farmer
    The University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • 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. ×
  • Amanda Owen Van Horne is now at the University of Delaware, Newark
    Amanda Owen Van Horne is now at the University of Delaware, Newark×
  • Karla K. McGregor is now at Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska
    Karla K. McGregor is now at Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska×
  • Thomas Farmer is now at the University of California, Davis
    Thomas Farmer is now at the University of California, Davis×
  • Correspondence to Jessica Hall: jessica-e-hall@uiowa.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond
    Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond×
  • Editor: Lisa Archibald
    Editor: Lisa Archibald×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 09, 2017
Distributional Learning in College Students With Developmental Language Disorder
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, November 2017, Vol. 60, 3270-3283. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-17-0013
History: Received January 11, 2017 , Revised May 1, 2017 , Accepted July 11, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, November 2017, Vol. 60, 3270-3283. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-17-0013
History: Received January 11, 2017; Revised May 1, 2017; Accepted July 11, 2017

Purpose This study examined whether college students with developmental language disorder (DLD) could use distributional information in an artificial language to learn about grammatical category membership in a way similar to their typically developing (TD) peers.

Method Seventeen college students with DLD and 17 TD college students participated in this task. We used an artificial grammar in which certain combinations of words never occurred during training. At test, participants had to use knowledge of category membership to determine which combinations were allowable in the grammar, even though they had not been heard.

Results College students with DLD performed similarly to TD peers in distinguishing grammatical from ungrammatical combinations.

Conclusion Differences in ratings between grammatical and ungrammatical items in this task suggest that college students with DLD can form grammatical categories from novel input and more broadly use distributional information.

Acknowledgments
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant 5R01DC011742 supported the efforts of Karla K. McGregor. We thank Nichole Eden, Tim Arbisi-Kelm, Danielle Reese, and Dan Plebanek for their assistance with data collection.
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