Grammatical Morphology Acquisition by Children with Complex Communication Needs

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TitleGrammatical Morphology Acquisition by Children with Complex Communication Needs
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractAcquisition of three grammatical morphemes was compared in three groups of children: one with extremely limited speech that resulted in complex communication needs, one with typical development, and one with typical speech but delayed language development. A grammaticality judgment task and a comprehension task involving picture selection were administered to all participants. Literate participants were also given a structured written output task. On the comprehension task, children with complex communication needs had significantly more difficulty than the children with normal language development and the speaking children with language delays. The same pattern was seen on the grammaticality judgment task for two of the three grammatical morphemes assessed. On the structured output task, children with complex communication needs were much more likely to omit grammatical morphemes than were children in the typical development group. Overall this evidence suggests that children with complex communication needs that result from extremely limited speech have difficulty in the acquisition of grammatical morphemes, and that this difficulty may be related, in part, to the lack of opportunities for language production while learning language. Implications for augmentative and alternative communication practices are discussed.
AuthorsBlockberger, S., and Johnston J. R.
Year of Publication2003
PublicationAAC Augmentative and Alternative Communication
ISSN0743-4618 (print), 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOI
Keywords (MeSH)child, communication disorders, comprehension, language development disorders, speech, speech disorders