Analogical mapping across modalities in children with specific language impairment (SLI)

Abstract : Analogical mapping is a domain-general cognitive process found in language development, and more particularly in the abstraction of construction schemas. Analogical mapping is considered as the general cognitive process which consists in the alignment of two or several sequences in order to detect their common relational structure and generalize it to new items. The current study investigated analogical mapping across modalities in children with specific language impairment (SLI). Nineteen children with SLI and their age-matched peers were administered two tasks: a linguistic analogical reasoning task (composed of syllables) and a similar non-linguistic analogical reasoning task (composed of pictures). In the two tasks, the items presented were divided into two groups: items with perceptual cues and items without perceptual cues. Children had to complete a sequence sharing the same relational structure as previously presented sequences. Results showed an expected group effect with poorer performance for children with SLI compared to children with typical language development (TLD). Results corroborate hypotheses suggesting that children with SLI have difficulties with analogical mapping, which may hinder the abstraction of construction schemas. Interestingly, whereas no interaction effect between group and modality (linguistic vs. non-linguistic) was revealed, a triple interaction Group*Modality*Perceptual support was observed. In the non-linguistic task, the performance of children with SLI was the same for items with and without perceptual clues, but in the linguistic task they performed more poorly for items without perceptual cues compared to items with perceptual cues. The results and limits of the study are discussed.
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Sandrine Leroy, Christelle Maillart, Christophe Parisse. Analogical mapping across modalities in children with specific language impairment (SLI). Research in Developmental Disabilities, Elsevier, 2014, 35 (9), pp.2158-2171. ⟨10.1016/j.ridd.2014.05.005⟩. ⟨halshs-01009167⟩

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