Specific language impairment in children: A Cross Linguistic Study

  • Leonard, Laurence B., Sabbadini, L., Leonard, J. V
  • 2


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • N/A


    Citations of this article.


Theories of specific language impairment (SLI) in children turn on whether this deficit stems from a grammar specific impairment or a more general speech-processing deficit. This issue parallels a more general question in cognitive neuroscience concerning the brain bases of linguistic rules. This more general debate frequently focuses on past-tense verbs, specifically, whether regular verbs (bake-baked) are encoded as rules, and whether irregular forms (take-took) are processed differently. Children with SLI have difficulties with past tenses, so SLI could represent an impairment to rules. An alternative theory explains past-tense deficits in SLI as resulting from a phonological deficit. Evidence for this theory has been obtained from connectionist models of past-tense impairments and from behavioral studies of language- and reading-impaired children. The data suggest that SLI is not an impairment to linguistic rules, that past-tense impairments can be explained as resulting from a perceptual deficit, and that a single processing mechanism is ideally suited to account for these children’s difficulties.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Atypical
  • English
  • Hearing
  • Language

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

There are no full text links


  • Volterra Leonard, Laurence B., Sabbadini, L., Leonard, J.

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free