Similarities in weak syllable omissions between children with specific language impairment and normally developing language: A preliminary report

Allyson K. Carter, Lou Ann Gerken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two-year-olds with normally developing language (NL) and older children with specific language impairment (SLI) omit initial weak syllables from words (e.g., "banana" ∼ "nana"). Previous research revealed a phonetic "trace" of syllables omitted by children with NL (Carter, 1999; Carter & Gerken, submitted for publication). The present study asked whether similar evidence could be found for omissions by children with SLI. Fourteen children with SLI produced sentences containing reduced or unreduced disyllabic proper names (e.g., "Feed_cinda," from "Feed Lucinda" vs. "Feed Cindy"). Acoustic analyses revealed a significantly longer duration for verb-onset to name-onset of sentences containing the reduced name, indicating that although segmental material is omitted, an acoustic trace remains. In addition, a phonological examination showed similarities between groups regarding sentential and syllabic factors that affect omission rates, as well as an interesting difference that suggests different strategies the groups use in acquiring adult targets. Learning outcomes: As a result of reading this article, participants should (1) have a better understanding of similarities and differences in the language production of children with specific language impairment and normally developing language, with regard to prosodic development, (2) be familiar with several models of the phenomenon of weak syllable omissions in children's developing language, and (3) recognize the importance of using a combination of linguistic analysis types when studying issues in child language production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-179
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Communication Disorders
Volume36
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

Keywords

  • Acoustic analysis
  • Child language production
  • Prosodic development
  • Specific language impairment
  • Syllable omission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN

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