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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17322

Title: Developmental Measures of Morphosytactic Acquisition in Monolingual 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old Spanish-speaking Children
Authors: Castilla, Anny Patricia
Advisor: Eriks-Brophy, Alice
Department: Speech-Language Pathology
Keywords: Spanish
Language Acquisition
Issue Date: 26-Feb-2009
Abstract: This research investigated aspects of the morphosyntactic language development of 115 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old monolingual Spanish-speaking preschool children who resided in Cali, Colombia. Two general language measures were collected from the children: a standardized receptive vocabulary measure (Test de Vocabulario en Imágenes, TVIP), and a parental report of speech and language problems. In addition, morphosyntactic measures of language development were obtained using both a story retelling and an elicitation task. Developmental language measures such as number of T-units (NU-TU), mean length of T-units (MLTU), subordination index (SUB-I), and grammatical errors per T-unit (GRE-TU) were derived from the narratives. Percentages of correct use of direct and indirect object pronouns, reflexive pronouns, definite articles, indefinite articles, plurals and adjectives were obtained from an elicitation task that was specifically designed for this study. Counts of use of these grammatical structures were also calculated from the narratives. There were no statistically significant differences between the three age groups on standard scores for the TVIP or scores for the parent questionnaires, indicating that the three age groups were comparable. For the developmental language measures there was an increasing developmental pattern for NU-TU, MLTU and SUB-I, but no changes were found for GRE-TU. Statistically significant changes for the productive use of the grammatical structures of interest to this study were almost always seen between 3 and 4 years of age. Adult use of these grammatical structures was always statistically significantly more correct than child productions. This investigation provides novel normative data for NU-TU, MLTU, SUB-I and GRE-TU for preschool children. This investigation also offers original data on the productive use of object pronouns, articles, adjectives and plurals across the preschool years. The language battery used in this investigation proved to be sensitive to developmental changes between 3 and 4-5 year olds and has the potential to be used as an eventual diagnostic tool for the identification of children with language disorders. Speech-language pathologists who work with Spanish-speaking children will be able to use this normative information to conduct more objective language assessments.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17322
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Speech-Language Pathology - Doctoral theses

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