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J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2013 Apr;56(2):542-52. doi: 10.1044/1092-4388(2012/12-0100). Epub 2012 Aug 15.

Alternative tense and agreement morpheme measures for assessing grammatical deficits during the preschool period.

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1
Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

P. A. Hadley and H. Short (2005) developed a set of measures designed to assess the emerging diversity and productivity of tense and agreement (T/A) morpheme use by 2-year-olds. The authors extended 2 of these measures to the preschool years to evaluate their utility in distinguishing children with specific language impairment (SLI) from their typically developing (TD) peers.

METHOD:

Spontaneous speech samples from 55 children (25 with SLI, 30 TD) at 2 different age levels (4;0-4;6 [years;months] and 5;0-5;6) were analyzed, using a traditional T/A morphology composite that assessed accuracy, and the Hadley and Short measures of Tense Marker Total (assessing diversity of T/A morpheme use) and Productivity Score (assessing productivity of major T/A categories).

RESULTS:

All 3 measures showed acceptable levels of sensitivity and specificity. In addition, similar differences in levels of productivity across T/A categories were seen in the TD and SLI groups.

CONCLUSION:

The Tense Marker Total and Productivity Score measures seem to have considerable utility for preschool-age children, in that they provide information about specific T/A morphemes and major T/A categories that are not distinguished using the traditional composite measure. The findings are discussed within the framework of the gradual morphosyntactic learning account.

KEYWORDS:

assessment; language; language disorders; morphology; specific language impairment; syntax

PMID:
22896051
PMCID:
PMC3661764
DOI:
10.1044/1092-4388(2012/12-0100)
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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