Semantic Features in Fast-Mapping: Performance of Preschoolers with Specific Language Impairment Versus Preschoolers with Normal Language

Mary Alt, Elena M Plante, Marlena Creusere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

101 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examined the receptive language skills of young children (4-6 years old) with specific language impairment (SLI). Specifically, the authors looked at their ability to fast-map semantic features of objects and actions and compared it to the performance of age-matched peers with normally developing language (NL). Children completed a computer task during which they were exposed to novel objects and actions with novel names. The children then were asked questions about the semantic features of these novel objects and actions. Overall, the questions about actions were more difficult for children than objects. The children with SLI were able to recognize fewer semantic features than were their peers with NL. They also performed poorly relative to their peers on a lexical label recognition task. These results lend support to the idea that children with SLI have broader difficulties with receptive vocabulary than simply a reduced ability to acquire labels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-420
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2004

Fingerprint

Semantics
Language
semantics
language
performance
Aptitude
Vocabulary
ability
Names
Preschoolers
Fast Mapping
Specific Language Impairment
Semantic Features
vocabulary
Peers

Keywords

  • Children
  • Receptive language
  • Semantics
  • Specific language impairment (SLI)
  • Word learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

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abstract = "This study examined the receptive language skills of young children (4-6 years old) with specific language impairment (SLI). Specifically, the authors looked at their ability to fast-map semantic features of objects and actions and compared it to the performance of age-matched peers with normally developing language (NL). Children completed a computer task during which they were exposed to novel objects and actions with novel names. The children then were asked questions about the semantic features of these novel objects and actions. Overall, the questions about actions were more difficult for children than objects. The children with SLI were able to recognize fewer semantic features than were their peers with NL. They also performed poorly relative to their peers on a lexical label recognition task. These results lend support to the idea that children with SLI have broader difficulties with receptive vocabulary than simply a reduced ability to acquire labels.",
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