Understanding the contributions of prosodic phonology to morphological development: Implications for children with Specific Language Impairment
A growing body of research with typically developing children has begun to show that the acquisition of grammatical morphemes interacts not only with a developing knowledge of syntax, but also with developing abilities at the interface with prosodic phonology. In particular, a Prosodic Licensing approach to these issues provides a framework for understanding why children’s early use of grammatical morphemes is so variable. This in turn provides a means for making predictions, given the prosodic structure of a particular language and the location of a particular grammatical morpheme, if it is likely to be produced or not. Given that many of the patterns of development found in typically developing children are found in older children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) as well, the Prosodic Licensing Hypothesis should provide a better understanding of some of the variable use of grammatical morphemes found in children with SLI.
Background: Five-year-olds with specific language impairment (SLI) often struggle with mastering grammatical morphemes. It has been proposed that verbal morphology is particularly problematic in this respect. Previous research has also shown that in young typically developing children grammatical markers appear later in more phonologically challenging contexts.
Aims: The main aim was to explore whether grammatical deficits in children with SLI are morphosyntactic in nature, or whether phonological factors also explain some of the variability in morpheme production. The analysis considered the effects of the same phonological factors on the production of three different morphemes: two verbal (past tense -ed; third-person singular -s) and one nominal morpheme (possessive -s).
Methods & Procedures: The participants were 30 children with SLI (21 boys) aged 4;6–5;11 years (mean = 5;1). The data were collected during grammar test sessions, which consisted of question/answer elicitations of target forms involving picture props. A total of 2301 items were analysed using binary logistic regression; the predictors included: (1) utterance position of the target word, (2) phonological complexity of its coda, (3) voicing of the final stem consonant, (4) syllabicity (allomorph type) and (5) participant accounting for the individual differences in the responses.
Outcomes & Results: The results showed a robust effect of syllabicity on the correct morpheme production. Specifically, syllabic allomorphs (e.g., She dresses) were significantly more challenging than the segmental ones (e.g., He runs) for all three morphemes. The effects of other factors were observed only for a single morpheme: coda complexity and voicing helped explain variability in past tense production, and utterance position significantly affected children’s performance with the possessive. The participant factor also had a significant effect, indicating high within-group variability - often observed in SLI population.
Conclusions & Implications: The systematic effect of syllabicity across both verbal and nominal morphemes suggests morphophonological influences in the grammatical development of children with SLI that cannot be fully explained by syntactic deficits. Poorer performance in producing syllabic allomorphs can be accounted for by much lower overall frequency of these forms, and by the ‘tongue-twisting’ effect of producing similar segments in succession, as in added [ædəd], washes [wɒʃəz]. Interestingly, the greater acoustic salience of the syllabic allomorphs (an extra syllable) does not enhance children’s abilities to produce them. These findings suggest that the interconnections between different levels of language have a stronger effect on the grammatical development of children with SLI than might be expected. Allomorphy should, therefore, be taken into account when designing language assessments and speech therapy, ensuring that children receive sufficient practice with the entire set of allomorphic variants.
This paper is aimed to show crucial points of Quine’s language acquisition conception that were criticized by Noam Chomsky. Willard Van Orman Quine tried to build a language theory in a behavioristic way using such terms as: stimulus, reaction and reinforcement. He thought that language acquisition by children could be explained as the process of ontogenesis of reference. N. Chomsky mainly objected to behaviorism and showed its weak explanatory force in language theory.
This book is a collection of papers written by Russian and foreign linguists to highlight the different aspects of bilingualism. Much attention is paid to the early simultaneous and successive bilingualism in children; however, adults speaking several languages in natural settings as well as in classroom are also considered. Some chapters are concentrated on language attrition — an opposite process to language acquisition that happens when a native language for some reasons is not more used for communication. The data from Azerbaijan, English, Finnish, Georgian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Russian, Urum and Uzbek served as a base for comparison. This volume is addressed to linguists, psychologists, speech pathologists and teachers working with bilingual children, as well as to their parents.
The joint workshop on Natural Language Processing (NLP) for Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) & NLP for Language Acquisition (LA) – shorthand NLP4CALL&LA – is an effort to provide a debate space and collaboration between two closely related areas. Both focus on language acquisition, related resources and technologies, that can support research of the language learning process as well as aim to bring interdisciplinary advantage to the field. Individual workshop areas are outlined below.
By using tongue twisters from a variety of folk traditions, the article demonstrates how the inevitable failure to perform a tongue twister flawlessly consists of the performer's inability to differentiate between phonemic, semantic, morphological and syntactic homonyms, thus mirroring the experience of a child learning his/her native language. The article suggests that tongue twisters serve as an artistic means for the linguistically competent performer to revisit that earlier and forgotten stage in language acquisition.
The paper is focused on the study of reaction of italian literature critics on the publication of the Boris Pasternak's novel "Doctor Jivago". The analysys of the book ""Doctor Jivago", Pasternak, 1958, Italy" (published in Russian language in "Reka vremen", 2012, in Moscow) is given. The papers of italian writers, critics and historians of literature, who reacted immediately upon the publication of the novel (A. Moravia, I. Calvino, F.Fortini, C. Cassola, C. Salinari ecc.) are studied and analised.
In the article the patterns of the realization of emotional utterances in dialogic and monologic speech are described. The author pays special attention to the characteristic features of the speech of a speaker feeling psychic tension and to the compositional-pragmatic peculiarities of dialogic and monologic text.