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Children with specific language impairment and their contribution to the study of language development*

  • LAURENCE B. LEONARD (a1)
Abstract

Children with specific language impairment (SLI) are distinguishable from typically developing children primarily in the pace and course of their language development. For this reason, they are appropriate candidates for inclusion in any theory of language acquisition. In this paper, the areas of overlap between children with SLI and those developing in typical fashion are discussed, along with how the joint study of these two populations can enhance our understanding of the language development process. In particular, evidence from children with SLI can provide important information concerning the role of language typology in language development, the optimal ages for acquiring particular linguistic details, the robustness of the bilingual advantage for children, the role of input in children's acquisition of grammatical details, the unintended influence of processing demands during language assessment, the contributions of treatment designs to the study of typically developing children, and the study of individual differences in language development.

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Address for correspondence: Laurence B. Leonard, Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, 500 Oval Drive, Heavilon Hall, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA; e-mail: xdxl@purdue.edu

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Journal of Child Language
  • ISSN: 0305-0009
  • EISSN: 1469-7602
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-child-language
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