Structural priming in children with and without specific language impairment

Carol Miller, Patricia Deevy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Primary objective: To determine if structural priming can be demonstrated in young children with and without specific language impairment (SLI). Research design: A mixed-model design was used to compare children with SLI to two groups of typically developing (TD) children, and to compare priming conditions. Methods and procedures: Eighteen children with SLI and 36 TD children (18 matched on age and 18 matched on MLU) participated. Children were asked to describe drawings compatible with both a transitive or an intransitive sentence structure, after being primed with one of the structures. Results: All groups of children were more likely to produce transitive sentences when they had just heard and repeated a transitive prime. Children with SLI did not differ from the other groups. Conclusions: Children with SLI show similar priming effects to TD children. Priming has promise as a method for investigating production factors in typical and atypical language development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-399
Number of pages13
JournalClinical Linguistics and Phonetics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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