Specific Language Impairment in German Children

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The article provides an overview of linguistic research on SLI in German,concentrating on linguistic markers and accounts of the underlying deficit. Itfocuses on verbal morpho-syntax and verb placement, characteristic difficultiesin German SLI. It argues, however, that the difficulties also concern areas ofsyntax and semantics such as Wh-questions in accordance with cross-linguisticfindings. These broader difficulties point to problems with complex linguisticcomputations in general – in syntax and semantics – rather than a specific mechanism.Additionally, the article describes deviant development in the acquisitionof the lexicon and German verb semantics arguing that specific linguisticproperties can reveal deep properties of the syndrome. Finally, new researchdirections for the identification of cross-linguistic markers of SLI are explored.


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