Complexity markers in morphosyntactic productions in French-speaking children with specific language impairment (SLI)

Abstract : Usage-based theory considers that the morphosyntactic productions of children with SLI are particularly dependent on input frequency. When producing complex syntax, the language of these children is therefore predicted to have a lower variability and to contain fewer infrequent morphosyntactic markers than that of younger children matched on morphosyntactic abilities. Using a spontaneous language task, the current study compared the complexity of the morphological and structural productions of 20 children with SLI and 20 language-matched peers (matched on both morphosyntactic comprehension and mean length of utterance). As expected, results showed that although basic structures were produced in the same way in both groups, several complex forms (i.e. tenses such as Imperfect, Future or Conditional and Conjunctions) were less frequent in the productions of children with SLI. Finally, we attempted to highlight complex linguistic forms that could be good clinical markers for these children.
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Gaïd Prigent, Christophe Parisse, Anne-Lise Leclercq, Christelle Maillart. Complexity markers in morphosyntactic productions in French-speaking children with specific language impairment (SLI). Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, Taylor & Francis, 2015, 29 (8-10), pp.701-718. ⟨10.3109/02699206.2015.1020451⟩. ⟨halshs-01387340⟩

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