Volume 8, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1879-7865
  • E-ISSN: 1879-7873
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Certain grammatical morphemes are variably produced in the speech of children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Previous research tends to view this as a consequence of either a deficit in linguistic knowledge or a limitation in processing capacity; however, both approaches raise problems. For example, linguistic accounts are unable to explain why these children’s problems are mostly with production rather than comprehension. Processing accounts, on the other hand, have difficulty explaining why affected children have differing levels of problems with grammatical morphemes that are similar on the surface (e.g. English plural - vs. third person singular -). In this paper, a new, phonological account is proposed which avoids these problems, and better captures the wide array of data presented in the literature. It is proposed that children with SLI have problems with organizing segmental data into prosodic structures that are linguistically highly marked, in particular those that involve various forms of extraprosodicity.


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