The use of Hebrew verb morphology by children with specific language impairment and children developing language normally

Laurence B. Leonard, Esther Dromi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hebrew-speaking children with specific language impairment (SLI) are reported to use grammatical morphology to the same degree as younger normally-developing children with comparable mean lengths of utterance (MLU). Given the difficulty that English-speaking children with SLI seem to experience with morphology and the fact that Hebrew morphology is complicated, such a finding is noteworthy. This issue is explored in the present study through a more thorough assessment of the use of verb inflections by a group of Hebrew-speaking children with SLI and two groups of normally-developing children, one matched with the children with SLI according to age, the other according to MLU. The findings revealed that for a range of verb inflections the Hebrew-speaking children with SLI showed percentages of use that were similar to those seen for the MLU-matched control children. Furthermore, the children with SLI, like their normally- developing counterparts, showed evidence of creative productions, suggesting that more than the memorization of unanalysed forms was at work. The implications of these findings for current accounts of morphological deficits are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-304
Number of pages22
JournalFirst Language
Volume14
Issue number42-43
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1994

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