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Annoying Danish relatives: Comprehension and production of relative clauses by Danish children with and without SLI*

  • KRISTINE JENSEN DE LÓPEZ (a1), LONE SUNDAHL OLSEN (a1) and VASILIKI CHONDROGIANNI (a2)
Abstract

This study examines the comprehension and production of subject and object relative clauses (SRCs, ORCs) by children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) and their typically developing (TD) peers. The purpose is to investigate whether relative clauses are problematic for Danish children with SLI and to compare errors with those produced by TD children. Eighteen children with SLI, eighteen TD age-matched (AM) and nine TD language-matched (LM) Danish-speaking children participated in a comprehension and in a production task. All children performed better on the comprehension compared with the production task, as well as on SRCs compared to ORCs and produced various avoidance strategies. In the ORC context, children with SLI produced more reversal errors than the AM children, who opted for passive ORCs. These results are discussed within current theories of SLI and indicate a deficiency with the assignment of thematic roles rather than with the structural make-up of RCs.

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Copyright
The online version of this article is published within an Open Access environment subject to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence . The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use.
Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Kristine Jensen de López, Clinic of Developmental Communication Disorders, Aalborg University, Department of Communication and Psychology, Kroeghstraede 3, 9220 – Aalborg, DK. tel: +45 2782224; e-mail: Kristine@hum.aau.dk
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[*]

This study was supported by a grant from The Danish Agency for Science and Technology and Innovation (FKK) to Kristine Jensen de López in support of the NASUD project Normal og Atypisk Sproglig Udvikling (Typical and Atypical Language Development) grant # 09-063957. We would like to acknowledge the contribution of Line Engel Clasen and Line Boe for assisting in parts of the data collection from the typically developing children. We would like to thank the researchers participating in the COST Action A33 for their discussions related to the production task and to two anonymous reviewers for providing us with helpful comments, which led to the significant improvement of this article.

Footnotes
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Journal of Child Language
  • ISSN: 0305-0009
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