Passive verb morphology: the effect of phonotactics on passive comprehension in typically developing and grammatical-SLI children
Marshall, C., Marinis, T. and van der Lely, H. (2007) Passive verb morphology: the effect of phonotactics on passive comprehension in typically developing and grammatical-SLI children. Lingua, 117 (8). pp. 1434-1447. ISSN 0024-3841
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.lingua.2006.07.001
In this study we explore the impact of a morphological deficit on syntactic comprehension. A self-paced listening task was designed to investigate passive sentence processing in typically developing (TD) children and children with Grammatical-Specific Language Impairment (G-SLI). Participants had to judge whether the sentence they heard matched a picture they were shown. Working within the framework of the Computational Grammatical Complexity Hypothesis, which stresses how different components of the grammar interact, we tested whether children were able to use phonotactic cues to parse reversible passive sentences of the form the X was verbed by Y We predicted that TD children would be able to use phonotactics to parse a form like touched or hugged as a participle, and hence interpret passive sentences correctly. This cue is predicted not be used by G-SLI children, because they have difficulty building complex morphological representations. We demonstrate that indeed TD, but not G-SLI, children are able to use phonotactics cues in parsing passive sentences. (C) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.