Human Development 2010;53:264–277

Grammatical Difficulties in Children with Specific Language Impairment: Is Learning Deficient?

Hsu H.J. · Bishop D.V.M.
University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
email Corresponding Author

 goto top of outline Key Words

  • Grammar
  • Specific language impairment
  • Statistical learning

 goto top of outline Abstract

Theoretical accounts of grammatical limitations in specific language impairment (SLI) have been polarized between those that postulate problems with domain-specific grammatical knowledge, and those that regard grammatical deficits as downstream consequences of perceptual or memory limitations. Here we consider an alternative view that grammatical deficits arise when the learning system is biased towards memorization of exemplars, and is poor at extracting statistical dependencies from the input. We examine evidence that SLI involves deficits in extracting nonadjacent dependencies from input, leading to reliance on rote learning, and consider how far this may be part of a limitation of procedural learning, or a secondary consequence of memory limitations.

Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel

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 goto top of outline Author Contacts

Hsinjen Julie Hsu, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road
Oxford OX1 3UD (UK)
Tel. +44 1865 271 334, Fax +44 1865 281 255

 goto top of outline Article Information

Number of Print Pages : 14
Number of Figures : 1, Number of Tables : 0, Number of References : 59

 goto top of outline Publication Details

Human Development

Vol. 53, No. 5, Year 2010 (Cover Date: January 2011)

Journal Editor: Nucci L. (Berkeley, Calif.), Nunes T. (Oxford)
ISSN: 0018-716X (Print), eISSN: 1423-0054 (Online)

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