The spontaneous use of Hebrew verb forms by Israeli preschool children with and without sli

Esther Dromi, Anat Blass


In this article we present findings on the spontaneous use of verb forms by preschool Hebrew speaking children who were diagnosed as SLI (Specific Language Impairment) and by younger normally developing (ND - L) children who were matched by language level to the SLI group. We evaluate
the spontaneous use of verb forms in obligatory contexts and compare it with previous results on the morphological abilities of SLI and ND-L children in elicitation tasks. This article reviews previous published findings on verb elicitation tasks and report new data on the use of Hebrew verb
forms in spontaneous language samples. Results indicate that HSLI (High Specific Language Impairment) children produce verb forms as successfully as their utterance length in morphemes lead to expect. This is especially true when the verb forms they use belong to simple verb patterns. The difficulty HSLI children face with respect to verb morphology
is selective rather than sweeping, and it is not evident in the spontaneous speech samples because in this context children avoid producing complex verb forms. The article highlights the position that in languages with rich inflectional morphology it is always useful to combine elicited and spontaneous research methods for studying the
productive morphological abilities of young children.


English Language; English


Copyright (c) 2002 Esther Dromi, Anat Blass

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