Tracking the Growth of Tense and Agreement in Children With Specific Language Impairment: Differences Between Measures of Accuracy, Diversity, and Productivity Purpose Composite measures of children's use of tense and agreement morphology differ in their emphasis on accuracy, diversity, or productivity, yet little is known about how these different measures change over time. An understanding of these differences is especially important for the study of children with specific language impairment, given ... Research Note
Newly Published
Research Note  |   November 29, 2017
Tracking the Growth of Tense and Agreement in Children With Specific Language Impairment: Differences Between Measures of Accuracy, Diversity, and Productivity
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Laurence B. Leonard
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Eileen Haebig
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
    Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
  • Patricia Deevy
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Barbara Brown
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • 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 Laurence B. Leonard: xdxl@purdue.edu
  • Editor: Sean Redmond
    Editor: Sean Redmond×
  • Associate Editor: Filip Smolik
    Associate Editor: Filip Smolik×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Newly Published / Research Note
Research Note   |   November 29, 2017
Tracking the Growth of Tense and Agreement in Children With Specific Language Impairment: Differences Between Measures of Accuracy, Diversity, and Productivity
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-16-0427
History: Received November 15, 2016 , Revised March 28, 2017 , Accepted July 26, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-16-0427
History: Received November 15, 2016; Revised March 28, 2017; Accepted July 26, 2017

Purpose Composite measures of children's use of tense and agreement morphology differ in their emphasis on accuracy, diversity, or productivity, yet little is known about how these different measures change over time. An understanding of these differences is especially important for the study of children with specific language impairment, given these children's extraordinary difficulty with this aspect of grammar.

Method We computed 3 types of composite scores from spontaneous speech samples obtained from 17 preschoolers with specific language impairment before, during, and after their participation in a language intervention study. These measures were the Finite Verb Morphology Composite (a measure of accuracy), the Tense Marker Total (a measure of diversity), and the Productivity Score (a measure of productivity).

Results The 3 measures differed in their growth trajectories. Sample size did not alter the linear or quadratic nature of growth of any composite, although it did affect the absolute values found for the Tense Marker Total and Productivity Score.

Conclusion Even when sample size is controlled, early growth can be seen in tense and agreement accuracy with relatively limited diversity and productivity, whereas later growth in diversity and productivity can occur with very little change in accuracy.

Acknowledgments
The work reported in this article was supported in part by Grant R01DC04544 from NIDCD of the National Institutes of Health (awarded to Laurence B. Leonard).
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