Grammatical morphology and the lexicon in children with specific language impairment

Laurence B. Leonard, Carol Miller, Erika Gerber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


We examined the use of grammatical morphology by preschool-age English- speaking children with specific language impairment (SLI) as a function of their lexical diversity. Relative to a group of normally developing (ND) preschoolers, these children's use of finite-verb morphology lagged behind expectations based on the number of different verbs they used. Noun-related morphology fell below expectations based on overall lexical diversity. Differences between the ND children and children with SLI were also seen for the slope of the increases in finite-verb morphology as a function of lexical diversity, with shallower slopes in the SLI data. The findings of this study add to existing evidence suggesting that a measure of finite grammatical- morphology use has promise as a clinical marker of SLI in English.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)678-689
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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