The discovery of clinical markers for specific language impairment (SLI) in children can assist in the accurate identification of children with this disorder, and in a description of the disorder’s phenotype for genetic study. One challenge to this type of research is the fact that languages vary in the most salient symptoms of SLI. This study focuses on Italian. Aims: To determine whether three measures — the use of third-person plural inflections, the use of direct-object clitics and non-word repetition — are successful in distinguishing Italian-speaking children with SLI from their typically developing peers. Methods & Procedures: Eleven preschool-aged children with SLI, 11 same-age typically developing peers and 11 younger typically developing children participated in the study. The third-person plural inflection and direct-object clitic tasks required the children to describe drawings in response to prompts provided by the examiner. In the non-word repetition task, the children repeated non-words ranging from one to four syllables in length. Outcomes & Results: All three measures proved successful either singly or in combination, with direct-object clitics and non-word repetition showing the highest sensitivity and specificity. Conclusions: Additional research should be pursued to replicate and extend these findings. Along with the potential clinical value of the findings, the results suggest that difficulties with non-final weak syllables — a problem that would adversely affect all three measures — may be an important part of the SLI profile in Italian.

Clinical markers for specific language impairment in Italian: the contribution of clitics and non-word repetition

ARFE', BARBARA;
2006

Abstract

The discovery of clinical markers for specific language impairment (SLI) in children can assist in the accurate identification of children with this disorder, and in a description of the disorder’s phenotype for genetic study. One challenge to this type of research is the fact that languages vary in the most salient symptoms of SLI. This study focuses on Italian. Aims: To determine whether three measures — the use of third-person plural inflections, the use of direct-object clitics and non-word repetition — are successful in distinguishing Italian-speaking children with SLI from their typically developing peers. Methods & Procedures: Eleven preschool-aged children with SLI, 11 same-age typically developing peers and 11 younger typically developing children participated in the study. The third-person plural inflection and direct-object clitic tasks required the children to describe drawings in response to prompts provided by the examiner. In the non-word repetition task, the children repeated non-words ranging from one to four syllables in length. Outcomes & Results: All three measures proved successful either singly or in combination, with direct-object clitics and non-word repetition showing the highest sensitivity and specificity. Conclusions: Additional research should be pursued to replicate and extend these findings. Along with the potential clinical value of the findings, the results suggest that difficulties with non-final weak syllables — a problem that would adversely affect all three measures — may be an important part of the SLI profile in Italian.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.
Pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/150790
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 148
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 137
social impact