Background: Non-word repetition in children is a skill related to, but separable from grammatical ability. Lexical skill may bridge the gap between these twoabilities. Aims: The main aim was to determine whether real-word-repetition tasks could be better as predictors of grammatical ability than non-word-repetition tasks in children with typical language. This proposal was pursued because lexical knowledge was assumed to make performance in repetition tasks more representative of other language abilities, whereas non-word-repetition tasks are heavily influenced by phonological short-term memory. Methods & Procedures: In order to investigate this possibility, three repetition tasks (two real-word lists characterized by different lexical knowledge and one nonword list), were compared in three groups of three- to four-year-olds with typical language (42 children). Grammatical ability was tested through probes for third-person plural inflection and direct-object clitic use. Outcomes & Results: Real words were repeated more accurately than non-words and the non-words were more sensitive to Syllable length than real words. Performance on all repetition tasks was correlated with grammatical ability, but real words predicted variance in grammatical ability to a greater extent than non-words. Conclusions & Implications: Given the lexical information contained in real words, repetition of such words was a better predictor of grammatical ability than non-word repetition. Future research should replicate and extend these results. Tasks using real words may also have considerable clinical potential; for this reason, these tasks might also be included in studies of children with language impairment.

Real word repetition as a predictor of grammatical competence in Italian children with typica language development.

DISPALDRO, MARCO;BENELLI, BEATRICE;
2009

Abstract

Background: Non-word repetition in children is a skill related to, but separable from grammatical ability. Lexical skill may bridge the gap between these twoabilities. Aims: The main aim was to determine whether real-word-repetition tasks could be better as predictors of grammatical ability than non-word-repetition tasks in children with typical language. This proposal was pursued because lexical knowledge was assumed to make performance in repetition tasks more representative of other language abilities, whereas non-word-repetition tasks are heavily influenced by phonological short-term memory. Methods & Procedures: In order to investigate this possibility, three repetition tasks (two real-word lists characterized by different lexical knowledge and one nonword list), were compared in three groups of three- to four-year-olds with typical language (42 children). Grammatical ability was tested through probes for third-person plural inflection and direct-object clitic use. Outcomes & Results: Real words were repeated more accurately than non-words and the non-words were more sensitive to Syllable length than real words. Performance on all repetition tasks was correlated with grammatical ability, but real words predicted variance in grammatical ability to a greater extent than non-words. Conclusions & Implications: Given the lexical information contained in real words, repetition of such words was a better predictor of grammatical ability than non-word repetition. Future research should replicate and extend these results. Tasks using real words may also have considerable clinical potential; for this reason, these tasks might also be included in studies of children with language impairment.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/2375839
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