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Clin Linguist Phon. 2012 Jun;26(6):554-71. doi: 10.3109/02699206.2012.666779.

Adjective production by Russian-speaking children with specific language impairment.

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Department of Dutch Language and Culture, Utrecht Institute of Linguistics, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Research on specific language impairment (SLI) has primarily focused on the acquisition of nouns and verbs. Less attention has been given to other content-word classes, such as adjectives and adverbs. This article investigates adjective production by 7- to 10-year-old Russian-speaking children with SLI and their typically developing (TD) peers and focuses on the production of antonymous adjectives and degree markers in an elicitation experiment. The results show that degree morphology is more impaired in SLI than antonymy. In antonym production, children with SLI were able to catch up with their TD peers by age 8. In the domain of degree, however, the SLI group lagged behind the TD controls across all ages studied. Error analysis indicates that language-impaired children have particular difficulty with agreement inflection and affixal negations. They also substitute adjectives with specific meanings by more general terms. The implications of this study for the morphological-richness hypothesis are discussed.

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