What's /dEr/? An anomalous error in a child with specific language impairment

C. Melanie Schuele, Allison M. Haskill, Matthew Rispoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This longitudinal case study describes an anomalous error produced by a child with specific language impairment (SLI), MM, whose language development was documented from ages 3 through 7 years. Twelve spontaneous language samples were analysed. Across nine language samples MM produced the phonetic sequence /dEr/ in ungrammatical contexts as if it were the nominative third person plural pronoun, for example, with a past tense form (e.g. */dEr/ ate dinner). The phonetic sequence /dEr/ may have been either their, a case error, or they're, inclusion of a form of BE in an unexpected context. In this paper, we examine and describe the distribution of /dEr/ and the development of pronominal forms and the verb BE in order to account for the anomalous error.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-107
Number of pages19
JournalClinical Linguistics and Phonetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Language development
  • Language disorders
  • Pronouns
  • Specific language impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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