The Search for Common Ground Part I. Lexical Performance by Linguistically Diverse Learners Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2004
The Search for Common Ground
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jennifer Windsor
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Kathryn Kohnert
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: or
  • Contact author: Jennifer Windsor or Kathryn Kohnert, Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, 115 Shevlin Hall, 164 Pillsbury Drive, SE, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455. E-mail or
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2004
The Search for Common Ground
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2004, Vol. 47, 877-890. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2004/065)
History: Received May 26, 2003 , Revised September 15, 2003 , Accepted December 20, 2003
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2004, Vol. 47, 877-890. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2004/065)
History: Received May 26, 2003; Revised September 15, 2003; Accepted December 20, 2003
Web of Science® Times Cited: 54

This study examines lexical performance by 3 groups of linguistically diverse school-age learners: English-only speakers with primary language impairment (LI), typical English-only speakers (EO), and typical bilingual Spanish-English speakers (BI). The accuracy and response time (RT) of 100 8- to 13-year-old children in word recognition and picture-naming tasks were analyzed. Within each task, stimulus difficulty was manipulated to include very easy stimuli (words that were high frequency/had an early age of acquisition in English) and more difficult stimuli (words of low frequency/late age of acquisition [AOA]). There was no difference among groups in real-word recognition accuracy or RT; all 3 groups showed lower accuracy with low-frequency words. In picture naming, all 3 groups showed a longer RT for words with a late AOA, although AOA had a disproportionate negative impact on BI performance. The EO group was faster and more accurate than both LI and BI groups in conditions with later acquired stimuli. Results are discussed in terms of quantitative differences separating EO children from the other 2 groups and qualitative similarities linking monolingual children with and without LI.

Portions of this study were presented at the Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in Atlanta, GA, November 2002. Funding for this research was provided by National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grants R03 DC05542, titled “Cognitive-Linguistic Processing in LI and L2 Learners,” awarded to Kathryn Kohnert, and R01 DC04437, titled “General Slowing in Language Impairment: Does It Exist?” awarded to Jennifer Windsor. Additional funding was provided to Kathryn Kohnert by the University of Minnesota (McKnight Land-Grant Professorship and Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry and Scholarship) and to Jennifer Windsor and Kathryn Kohnert (Interdisciplinary Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities Program).
We are grateful to the following research assistants for help with stimulus development, data collection, and data scoring: Meredith Bailey-Orr, Krista Bowe, Tara Cassidy, Kerry Danahy, Mark DeRuiter, Caren Dorman, Patti Dropik, Martha Hegewisch, Pui Fong Kan, Ruth Miller, Amanda Rowe, Cheryl Street, Krisana Theis, Sara Turman, and Dongsun Yim. We thank Edward Carney for technical assistance.
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