The development of conversational competence in children with Specific Language Impairment

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Two adult raters viewed videotapes of children with and without SLI in spontaneous conversations. Raters identified violations of conversational rules and assigned each to a category based on a system developed by Bishop and Adams (1989). Children with SLI produced significantly more violations than their typical peers. All but two of the violations were analyzed as falling under the Gricean maxims of relation and quantity, consistent with results of earlier studies of younger, typically-developing children. These findings confirm that children with SLI exhibit lower pragmatic competence than their typically developing peers, inviting further study comparing children with SLI with younger controls to investigate the contributions of language development and cognitive maturation.


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