Production operations and the use of nonfinite verbs by children with specific language impairment

Laurence B. Leonard, Carol Anne Miller, Patricia Deevy, Leila Rauf, Erika Gerber, Monique Charest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Recent evidence from structural priming studies suggests that children with specific language impairment (SLI) are more likely to produce verb morphemes such as auxiliary is when their previous sentence contained an auxiliary than when it did not. The same paradigm was employed in the present study to determine whether failures to include auxiliary is might be due to prior use of nonfinite sentences (e.g., The mouse eating the cheese). Preschoolers with SLI and a group of younger normally developing children were more likely to produce auxiliary is to describe target pictures when the preceding sentence contained auxiliary are than when it contained past tense. Use of is in the target sentence was least likely when the preceding sentence was nonfinite. The implications of these findings for current accounts of SLI and current models of sentence production are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)744-758
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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