Temporal interface delay and root nonfinite verbs in Spanish-Speaking children with specific language impairment

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Existing research into specific language impairment in Spanish utilizes primarily spontaneous production data and concludes that children do not have problems with verb finiteness. In contrast, we show, through a new receptive measure, the “Grammaticality Choice Task”, that the distribution of the 2 most common errors in child Spanish is sufficient to distinguish language-impaired children from age and language control groups. We conclude that finiteness marking on verbs is a promising clinical marker for SLI in Spanish and that spontaneous measures of finiteness marking do not provide the most accurate representation of children’s grammatical competence in the verbal domain in a null subject language such as Spanish.


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