Specific Language Impairment in Swedish: Grammar and Interaction

Detta är en avhandling från Department of Logopedics and Phoniatrics, Lund University Hospital, S-221 85 Lund, Sweden

Sammanfattning: The main purpose of this work was to explore grammar in Swedish children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI), that is children with impaired language development in the presence of normal hearing and otherwise normal development. In four differents studies, spontaneous data from six children with SLI were analysed and compared with data from either younger children with phonological impairment but normal grammar (PI), or from younger controls with typical development. The children with SLI were matched to their controls on the basis of mean length of utterance (MLU). One of the studies also includes longitudinal data. A fifth study includes experimental data from 10 children with SLI and 10 younger language matched controls. The results showed that in particular word order, verb forms requiring an auxiliary or a modal, and subordination were structures where the Swedish children with SLI differed from their controls. The children with SLI were further found to have a higher amount of hesitation phenomena than children with PI. These two groups also differed with respect to qualitative aspects of their maze behaviour. The conversational partner was not found to influence structural aspects of the language production of children with SLI or PI. The conversational partner did, however, influence the interactive behavior and the productivity of the children. Clinically, the pinpointing of vulnerable structures have important implications for the assessment of children with language impairment in Sweden. The analysis of the influence of the conversational partner can have implications for therapy, if further developed. The results point to the importance of investigating SLI in different languages.

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