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Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 6/2007

01-07-2007 | Original Paper

Beyond Pragmatics: Morphosyntactic Development in Autism

Auteurs: Inge-Marie Eigsti, Loisa Bennetto, Mamta B. Dadlani

Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders | Uitgave 6/2007

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Abstract

Language acquisition research in autism has traditionally focused on high-level pragmatic deficits. Few studies have examined grammatical abilities in autism, with mixed findings. The present study addresses this gap in the literature by providing a detailed investigation of syntactic and higher-level discourse abilities in verbal children with autism, age 5 years. Findings indicate clear language difficulties that go beyond what would be expected based on developmental level; specifically, syntactic delays, impairments in discourse management and increased production of non-meaningful words (jargon). The present study indicates a highly specific pattern of language impairments, and importantly, syntactic delays, in a group of children with autism carefully matched on lexical level and non-verbal mental age with children with developmental delays and typical development.
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Voetnoten
1
When analyses were repeated, excluding the child who had been talking for only 4 months, results were identical.
 
2
The MLU routine alone calculates only the number of words per utterance, rather than the number of morphemes, which is the variable of interest. Thus, after running MLU on each transcript to find the number of utterances spoken by the child, FREQ was used to find the complete frequency listing, assessed word by word to determine whether each word consisted of one or more morphemes. Additional morphemes were then incorporated into the measurement of utterance length.
 
3
For participants who produced fewer than 100 utterances, subscale scores were not computed (because of potential differences across groups on subscales). Thus, the subscale analyses are likely more conservative since they were based on a smaller group of participants.
 
4
In this scheme, some utterances are likely to be erroneously labeled as jargon, when the experimenter fails to recognize a target utterance even though it is a known word. Utterances from children with poor articulation will be over-included, making comparisons between the autism and DD group more conservative, as the latter are likely to have misarticulations.
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
Beyond Pragmatics: Morphosyntactic Development in Autism
Auteurs
Inge-Marie Eigsti
Loisa Bennetto
Mamta B. Dadlani
Publicatiedatum
01-07-2007
Gepubliceerd in
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders / Uitgave 6/2007
Print ISSN: 0162-3257
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-3432
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-006-0239-2