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Academic Paper


Title: The use of articles by monolingual Puerto Rican Spanish-speaking children with specific language impairment
Author: Raquel T. Anderson
Institution: Indiana University Bloomington
Author: Sofia M. Souto
Institution: Indiana University Bloomington
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Subject Language: Spanish
Abstract: The present investigation sought to evaluate patterns of article use in a group of monolingual Spanish-speaking children with specific language impairment (SLI). In particular, because of conflicting results reported in previous studies, it was of interest to discern specific types of nontarget responses and how these corresponded to what has been reported in other Spanish-speaking children with SLI. Eleven children with SLI and 11 age-matched peers participated in the study. Three different spontaneous speech samples were gathered from each child. In addition, an experimental task that assessed the children's use of articles with a variety of nouns was also administered to the children. The results of the study for both spontaneous speech and experimental data indicated that the children with SLI performed significantly poorer in their use of Spanish articles than their age-matched peers. Most of the nontarget responses consisted of omission of the target article. In contrast to a previous study by Restrepo and Gutiérrez–Clellen, the children did not present with deficits in noun phrase gender agreement. The gender errors that were observed appeared to be due to difficulties accessing the correct article form and not due to deficits in knowledge of the gender agreement paradigm. Possible theoretical explanations were explored suggesting that both processing and linguistic explanations, in particular optionality of determiners, could explain the observed patterns. Reasons for cross-study differences in error patterns are suggested, including relative phonological skill and language learning environment.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 26, Issue 4, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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