Volume 7, Issue 3-4
  • ISSN 1879-9264
  • E-ISSN: 1879-9272
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Language tests often fail to diagnose specific language impairment (SLI) in bilinguals due to the confounding impact of SLI and bilingualism on language. The present study focuses on the contribution of executive functioning to the diagnosis of SLI in bilinguals. Performance of monolingual and bilingual children with and without SLI on a task tapping response inhibition was assessed. Results revealed a negative effect of SLI but no effect of bilingualism. The diagnostic accuracy of the task was also estimated. Sensitivity and specificity were low, suggesting that response inhibition could not be considered as a reliable clinical marker of SLI. Although the results at the group level showed that children with SLI seemed more at risk than their typically-developing peers for a deficit in response inhibition, our results on diagnostic accuracy challenge the hypothesis of a relationship between deficits in language and deficits in inhibition in children with SLI.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): bilingualism; Executive functioning; SLI
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