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The role of language production mechanisms in children's sentence repetition: Evidence from an inflectionally rich language


We examine the role of language production mechanisms in sentence repetition, a task widely used as a diagnostic tool in developmental disorders. We investigate sentence repetition in 5- to 8-year-old native speakers of Kannada, an inflectionally rich language of India. The inflectional characteristics of the language make it an ideal testing ground for exploring the engagement of grammatical and phonological encoding processes. We presented active, passive, and embedded sentences and, in a subset of the material, we also manipulated sentence length. Using accuracy and speech error analyses at the sentence, word, and affix levels, we provide evidence that individual differences in task performance are influenced by the linguistic properties of the material. These findings clarify the role of key language production mechanisms involved in sentence repetition. We propose that it is the versatility to develop a profile across several language production mechanisms that makes sentence repetition particularly useful as a clinical tool.

Corresponding author
ADDRESS FOR CORRESPONDENCE Sonali Nag, Promise Foundation, 231, C. H. Layout, B. Hosahalli Road, Sarjapura, Bangalore 562125, India. E-mail:
Jelena Mirkovic, School of Psychology and Social Sciences, York St. John University, Lord Mayor's Walk, York YO31 7EX, UK. E-mail:
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Applied Psycholinguistics
  • ISSN: 0142-7164
  • EISSN: 1469-1817
  • URL: /core/journals/applied-psycholinguistics
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