Phonological deficits are common in children with specific language impairment (SLI). However, the degree to which they constitute an area of extraordinary difficulty, and their contribution to the morphological deficits of these children are largely unknown. In this investigation, we studied a group of young children with SLI who were acquiring Hebrew, a language in which phonology and morphology are closely linked. The phonology of these children lagged behind that of same-age peers as well as younger normally developing children matched according to mean number of morphemes per utterance. Furthermore, the children with SLI were more likely to commit phonological errors that neutralized important morphological distinctions in their language. These findings have implications for both assessment and therapy. Learning outcomes: As a result of this activity, the following learning outcomes will be achieved: The participant will be able to: (1) describe the differences in phonology between children with SLI and typically developing children; (2) describe the impact of phonological disorders on the assessment of the morphological systems of children with SLI; and (3) explain the necessary modifications to a therapy program for children with a combination of morphological and phonological disorders.
- Specific language impairment