Grammatical Morphology in School-Age Children With and Without Language Impairment: A Discriminant Function Analysis Purpose The purpose of this study was to test Bedore and Leonard’s (1998)  proposal that a verb morpheme composite may hold promise as a clinical marker for specific language impairment (SLI) in English speakers and serve as an accurate basis for the classification of children with and without SLI beyond ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2011
Grammatical Morphology in School-Age Children With and Without Language Impairment: A Discriminant Function Analysis
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Maura Jones Moyle
    University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Courtney Karasinski
    University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Susan Ellis Weismer
    University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Brenda K. Gorman
    Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI
  • Correspondence to Maura Jones Moyle, who is now at Marquette University: maura.moyle@marquette.edu
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Amy Weiss
    Associate Editor: Amy Weiss×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2011
Grammatical Morphology in School-Age Children With and Without Language Impairment: A Discriminant Function Analysis
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2011, Vol. 42, 550-560. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2011/10-0029)
History: Received April 21, 2010 , Revised October 4, 2010 , Accepted March 9, 2011
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2011, Vol. 42, 550-560. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2011/10-0029)
History: Received April 21, 2010; Revised October 4, 2010; Accepted March 9, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 11

Purpose The purpose of this study was to test Bedore and Leonard’s (1998)  proposal that a verb morpheme composite may hold promise as a clinical marker for specific language impairment (SLI) in English speakers and serve as an accurate basis for the classification of children with and without SLI beyond the preschool level.

Method The language transcripts of 50 school-age children with SLI (Mage = 7;9 [years;months]) and 50 age-matched typically developing peers (Mage = 7;9) were analyzed. Following the Bedore and Leonard (1998)  procedure, 3 variables were measured: a finite verb morpheme composite, a noun morpheme composite, and mean length of utterance in morphemes (MLUm).

Results Overall findings indicated that neither grammatical morpheme composite alone adequately discriminated the groups at this developmental level. However, combining the verb and noun grammatical morpheme composite measures with MLUm resulted in good discriminant accuracy in classifying subgroups of the youngest children with and without SLI in the school-age sample.

Conclusion Verb morphology alone is not a useful clinical marker of SLI in school-age children. Potential explanations for these findings and ideas for future research are discussed.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This project was supported by Grants 1R29DC01101, 5P50 DC02746, and T32DC005359 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. The authors would like to thank Kathy Schumacher for her assistance with data analysis. We are grateful to the children and their families who participated in the original studies and to examiners and research assistants who collected and transcribed the language samples.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access