Past tense production in children with and without specific language impairment across Germanic languages: A meta-analysis

Windi C. Krok, Laurence B. Leonard

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: This study examined the extent to which children with specific language impairment (SLI) across Germanic languages differ from their typically developing (TD) peers in the use of past tense morphology. Method: A systematic literature search identified empirical studies examining regular and/or irregular past tense production by English and non-English Germanic-speaking children with SLI and their TD peers. Data from qualifying studies were extracted and converted to Hedges’s g effect sizes. Results: Seventeen English and 8 non-English Germanic studies met inclusionary criteria. Comparing children with SLI and their TD age-matched (TDA) peers resulted in large combined effect sizes for English and non-English Germanic regular and irregular past tense production. Comparisons between children with SLI and their TD younger (TDY) peers also revealed large combined effect sizes for English and non-English Germanic regular past tense production. Effect sizes for studies comparing SLI and TDY irregular past tense production were large for non-English Germanic-speaking children and moderate for English-speaking children. Conclusions: Results suggest that children with SLI across Germanic languages do indeed have more difficulty marking verbs for past tense than TDA and TDY peers. The findings suggest that the potential value of past tense production as a clinical marker of SLI may well extend beyond English.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1326-1340
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume58
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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