Taalvaardigheden in Narratieven bij Kinderen met SLI.

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Specific Language Impairment (SLI) is nowadays often a diagnosis made by exclusion. That is due to the heterogeneity of the symptoms of children with SLI. Because of psychological, social and economic needs it is desirable to diagnose SLI as early and efficient as possible. Concrete standards and variables of language abilities in young children are still missing however. In order to determine adequate language variables, narratives of a picture story of 74 children, aged between 5;6 - 12;0 years were examined. Transcripts and audio files were provided by the Language Archive van het Max Planck Institute (MPI). The transcripts were analysed and the utterances were divided into three groups (morphosyntactic correct, lexical correct, both). Analysing the complexity, Guiraud’s index (ratio for lexical richness) and the mean length of utterances in words (MLU5) were used. The audio files were controlled for length of the story (in minutes) and for the number of pauses and corrections of errors. Descriptive statistics were used to summarise the observations. An ANOVA and a correlation analysis were used to test the hypotheses of this study. The hypotheses regarding morfosyntaxis and lexical abilities were corroborated. The SLI-children performed worse than the age-matched TD-children in morphosyntactic and lexical skills. The scores increased within both groups with age. The scores of fluency were heterogeneous. The stories of SLI-children took more time than those of the TD-children. All children made more pauses the older they were. For length of pauses and amount of error corrections no significant differences were found. This study confirms earlier empirical findings on the morphosyntactic and lexical skills of SLI-children. Future research is needed to examine the fluency in children with SLI in more depth. Keywords: SLI, children, narratives, accuracy, complexity, fluency.
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