DIFFERENCES BETWEEN GRAMMATICAL AND LEXICAL DEVELOPMENT IN JAPANESE SPECIFIC LANGUAGE IMPAIRMENT: A CASE STUDY
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Paradis and Gopnik (1997) and Fukuda and Fukuda (2001) suggested that the performance of children with specific language impairment (SLI) could be explained by deficits in their knowledge of grammar, whereas their lexicon appears to be intact. The purpose of this study was to examine this hypothesis with longitudinal data from a Japanese child with SLI from the ages of 9 to 14. Tests with tense, passives, case-marking, demonstrative pronouns and vocabulary were administered during this period. The results were as follows. The participant's lexical age developed rapidly. In contrast, the percent correct of her passives did not increase significantly from the ages of 9 to 14. Moreover, the percent correct on tense was 50% at the age of 14 when non-words were used. In case-marker production with passives, it was 50% even at the age of 14 when reversed word order was used. However, the percent correct of demonstrative pronouns was 50% at the age of 11, and it increased rapidly to 100% within a year. The results of this study provide further empirical support for the hypothesis that the deficit in children with SLI can be attributed to an impairment in their grammatical knowledge which seems to spare their lexicon.
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