Story grammar ability in children with and without language disorder: story generation, story retelling, and story comprehension

Author: Merritt, D.D.; Liles, B.Z.

Description: Twenty language-impaired and unimpaired children ages 9:0 to 11:4 participated in three story tasks. The children generated three original stories, retold two adventure stories, and then answered two sets of comprehension questions after each retelling. Stein and Glenn’s (1979) story grammar rules were adapted and used to analyze the narratives. The generated and retold stories produced by the language-disordered children contained fewer complete story episodes, a lower mean number of main and subordinate clauses per complete episode, and a lower frequency of use of story grammar components than those of the control group. The story hierarchies produced by both groups were highly similar, though, in both story generation and story retelling. The groups also did not differ in their understanding of the factual details of the retold stories, but did differ significantly in their comprehension of the relationships linking the critical parts of the stories together. The results are discussed relative to cognitive organizational deficits of language-impaired children.

Subject headings: Attention; Child; Child Language; Fantasy; Female; Humans; Language Development Disorders/diagnosis; Language Tests; Male; Semantics; Speech Perception; Speech Production Measurement; Verbal Behavior; Vocabulary

Publication year: 1987

Journal or book title: Journal of Speech and Hearing Research

Volume: 30

Issue: 4

Pages: 539-552

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Type: Journal Article

Serial number: 1131