Comparing multilingual children with SLI to their bilectal peers: Evidence from object and action picture naming
Grohmann, K. K.
Michaelides, Michalis P.
SourceInternational Journal of Multilingualism
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Against the background of the increasing number of multilingual children with atypical language development around the world, this study reports research results on grammatical word class processing involving children with specific language impairment (SLI). The study investigates lexical retrieval of verbs (through picture-naming actions) and compares performances for the same children with noun retrieval (through picture-naming objects). It was found that nouns (object names) were better retrieved than verbs (action names) in the multilingual group with SLI, a finding similar to bilectal peers with SLI and typically developing language-matched controls. The results suggest that grammatical class is an organising principle shared across languages. Moreover, when tested in first and third language, multilingual children with SLI revealed a comparable verb-noun dissociation both in terms of the direction of the effect (V < N) and major error type. These findings are discussed in relation to the delayed acquisition hypothesis for SLI and psycholinguistic models of multilingualism. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.