The Verbal Environment of a Language-Impaired Child A child with a language handicap presents a potential conflict for the adults with whom he interacts. In terms of age and physical development, he may present cues that ordinarily elicit complex speech from adults. His language performance, however, may be comparable to that of a much younger child. This ... Articles
Articles  |   November 01, 1977
The Verbal Environment of a Language-Impaired Child
 
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Articles   |   November 01, 1977
The Verbal Environment of a Language-Impaired Child
Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, November 1977, Vol. 42, 474-482. doi:10.1044/jshd.4204.474
History: Received August 24, 1976 , Accepted January 18, 1977
 
Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, November 1977, Vol. 42, 474-482. doi:10.1044/jshd.4204.474
History: Received August 24, 1976; Accepted January 18, 1977

A child with a language handicap presents a potential conflict for the adults with whom he interacts. In terms of age and physical development, he may present cues that ordinarily elicit complex speech from adults. His language performance, however, may be comparable to that of a much younger child. This study involves a detailed analysis of the speech addressed to a 4.7-year-old language-impaired boy and to his normal-speaking female cousin (4.6 years) by the boy’s mother, father, and baby-sitter. Each adult interacted with each child in a five-minute free play and a five-minute story-telling situation. Quantitative measures of the speech of the adults included word rate, disfluencies, type-token ratio, and mean length of response. There was a strong tendency to present the language-impaired child with fluent, short, and simple sentence patterns, as compared to his peer. Qualitative analyses of sentence types again showed that simplifications were made in speech to the boy, and that the adults used sequential sets of sentences with the language-handicapped child that were similar to those used by mothers of normal, but much younger children.

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