AG 3: Die Phonologie-Morphologie-Schnittstelle in Spracherwerb und Sprachstörungen
Raum IG 251 (Erdgeschoss)
Mittwoch, 07.03.2012, 17.30 bis 18.00 Uhr
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Christina Kauschke & Ulrike Domahs
German plural morphology in language acquisition and Specifi c Language Impairment from a morphophonological perspective
This elicitation study investigates whether children without and with SLI follow prosodic constraints on plural marking, e.g., the fact that typical German plurals end in a bisyllabic trochee. Subjects were 29 first- and second-graders (mean age 7;5) in three experimental groups: typically developing children (TD), and two groups of children with SLI (with and without phonological deficits). The material consisted of 60 words and 20 pseudowords, whose base forms vary with respect to the prosodic shape and require the plural endings -e, -n, -s and zero.
TD children performed significantly better than both groups of children with SLI. The performance of the children with phonological deficits differed according to the stress pattern of the singular forms: more errors occurred in the context of items with word-final stress. The error analysis revealed differences with respect to the prosodic shape of the incorrect responses: the TD group produced more prosodically well-formed plural forms than the children with phonological deficits. TD children predominantly omitted a plural suffix when the singular form was a bisyllabic trochee (e.g. “Múskel”), while the children with SLI showed no markings even when the singular form did not meet the prosodic constraint for plurals (e.g. “Pirát”). These results were even more pronounced in the analysis of the pseudoword stimuli.
Our findings suggest that children with SLI deficits show a reduced sensitivity to prosodic requirements. Violations of prosodic constraints were most distinct in SLI-children with phonological deficits. Thus, difficulties in the area of phonology/prosody contribute to the morphological symptoms of SLI.