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In an earlier study, we found that Swedish-speaking children with specificlanguage impairment (SLI) differ from younger normally developing com-patriots on only a subset of verb morphemes characteristically problematicfor children with this type of disorder. In the present study, this finding wasreplicated, using a carefully devised set of tasks to elicit attempts at thetarget morphemes. The children with SLI used present copula forms andregular past-tense inflections with lower percentages than both younger andsame-age control children. However, the children with SLI were as proficientas the younger controls in the use of present-tense inflections and irregularpast forms. Given the pattern of the children’s variability and their overregu-larization of the inflections, the findings could not be attributed to rotememorization of inflected forms. However, the children with SLI wererelatively weak in their ability to apply the inflections to nonce verbs. Wediscuss the findings in terms of their implications for current characteriza-tions of morphosyntactic deficits in SLI, in particular the agreement-deficit,extended optional-infinitive, and surface accounts.


This is the publisher PDF of KRISTINA HANSSON and LAURENCE B. LEONARD. (2003). The use and productivity of verb morphology in specific language impairment: an examination of Swedish. Linguistics, 41(2), 351-379. Copyiright DeGruyter, the version of record is available at DOI: 10.1515/ling.2003.012.

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