Variability in the grammatical profiles of Spanish-speaking children with specific language impairment

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This chapter investigates whether a specific grammatical marker can be used to identify specific language impairment (SLI) in monolingual Spanish-speaking (SS) children that is consistent with a linguistic knowledge deficit account of SLI. A number of grammatical markers that have been identified as vulnerable to error in Spanish-English bilingual children with SLI (articles, clitics, subjunctive verbs, & derivational morphemes) were tested in monolingual SS children with and without SLI. Results indicated significant group differences between monolingual SS children with and without SLI in all grammatical areas tested. However, children with SLI demonstrated considerable variability across grammatical markers such that one particular grammatical marker could not be identified as impaired in all children with SLI. Theoretical and clinical implications of the study are discussed.


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