Introduction: Specific language impairment (SLI) is diagnosed when a child's language development is deficient for no obvious reason. For many years, there was a tendency to assume that SLI was caused by factors such as poor parenting, subtle brain damage around the time of birth, or transient hearing loss. Subsequently it became clear that these factors were far less important than genes in determining risk for SLI. A quest to find “the gene for SLI” was undertaken, but it soon became apparent that no single cause could account for all cases. Furthermore, although fascinating cases of SLI caused by a single mutation have been discovered, in most children the disorder has a more complex basis, with several genetic and environmental risk factors interacting (Rescorla and Lee, 2001). Children with SLI are often late to talk and may not produce any words until they are 2 years old. At age 3, they may talk, but may not be understood. As they grow older, children with SLI will struggle to learn new words and make conversation. Having difficulty using verbs is a hallmark of SLI (Watkings, 1995). This study aimed to compare the vocabulary, morphological and syntactic development of 36-48 months-old typically-developing (TD) children and 48-60 months-old children with SLI by TİGE-2 (Türkçe İletişim Gelişim Envanteri- Aksu-Koç, Küntay, Acarlar, Turan, Topbaş, Maviş ve Sofu- 2007) which is the Turkish adaptation of MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory. Method: The study groups consisted of 10 children in each group. The group with normally-developing children consisted of five girls and two boys, and the SLI group consisted of 3 girls and 7 boys. The assessment tool TİGE- 2 is based on parent reporting, assessing children’s performances of word production and the early phases of grammar. Word production part examined the number of words, verbs, nouns, semantic categories, the most frequent verbs and nouns whereas the early phases of grammar part examined the average morpheme use for groups, simple verb tense inflections, complex verb tense/modality inflections and noun case inflections. The last part of the study examined groups’ performances on sentence complexity. Results: The results indicated that although children with SLI followed similar language milestones with the typically-developing children, they were all delayed. It can be seen in this study, TD children were more competent in terms of vocabulary, morphological development and syntactic development than children with SLI group. SLI group also had difficulties using language in an appropriate context when compared to the normal group.
Typical language development, specific language impairment, CDI, morphological development, syntactic development
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