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					Sentence Repetition


 Challenges to Language Acquisition:
 Bilingualism and Language Impairment

 Dr. Sharon Armon-Lotem
 Bar Ilan University
1.  Child: Want other one spoon, Daddy
2. Father: You mean, you want THE OTHER SPOON
3. Child: Yes, I want other one spoon, please.
4. Father: Can you say “the other spoon”?
5. Child: Other … one … spoon.
6. Father: Say … “other”.
7. Child: Other.
8. Father: “Spoon”.
9. Child: Spoon.
10. Father: “Other … spoon.”
11. Child: Other … Spoon. Now give me other one spoon?
12. (From Pinker1994, p. 281)
Elicited imitation as an
experimental technique

 Filling the gap
 Word order
 Passive
 Relative clauses
Filling the gap (Slobin & Welsh
1973, from Lust et al. p. 58)

Adult: The red beads and the brown beads
 are here
Child: Brown beads here and red beads
Word order (Lust et al. p. 59)
Adult : When he sat down, Johnny read a
Child : Johnny read a book when he sat
Adult: The boy was kissed by the girl

Child 1: The girl kissed the boy
Child 2: The boy kissed the girl
Child 3: Boy kiss girl
‫& ‪Relative clauses (Friedmann‬‬
‫)6002 ,‪Lavi‬‬

              ‫נסיין: זו הילדה שסבתא נשקה‬
            ‫ילד: זו הילדה שנשקה את סבתא‬
Sentence repetition as a
linguistic evaluation tool
 How does SR work? (Bley-Vroman and
 Chaudron, 1994):
  The  subject hears the input, processes it, and
   forms a representation.
  The representation includes information at
   various levels.
  The representation is kept in STM
  The subject formulates (and produces) a
   sentence based on the representation,
   comparing it to the model.
What influences success on SR? What
does it check?
 Verbal memory
 Word length
 Sentence length
 Syntactic complexity
 Predictability
Verbal memory span
    Devesovi, A. & Caselli, M. C. 2007. Sentence repetition
    as a measure of early grammatical development in
    Italian. International Journal of Language and
    Communication Disorders, 42, 2 187-208.
   Subjects: 100 Italian preschoolers.
   Method: SR, spontaneous speech, verbal memory span
   Findings:
       MLU, articles omission and use of the verbs in the sentence
        imitation task correlated with the same measures of their free
       Positive correlations between verbal memory span and
        performance of both the imitation task and the free speech .
Word length
 Willis, C.S. & Gathercole, S.E. (2001).
 Phonological short-term memory contributions to
 sentence processing in young children .Memory ,
 .349-363 ,9
   Subjects: 30 children, 4-5 (Mean 4;6, SD, 4.28 months)
   Material: SR followed by picture selection with sentences
    containing either short or longer words (different in
    number of syllables), and varied in syntactic structure.

                                                                     Short   Long
the prepositions in and on                                           6.50    9.75
the prepositions above and below                                     7.00    10.00
reversible sentences (e.g., The fox is chased by the horse)          7.00    9.00
sentences containing a relative clause (e.g., The book is on the box 8.00    10.75
that is red)
sentences of an X-but-not-Y construction (e.g., The box but not      8.50    12.75
the chair is red)
embedded sentences (e.g., The shoe the comb is on is blue            9.00    12.75
Repetition but not comprehension of the
sentences was significantly influenced by word
Sentence length (Armon-Lotem et
al. under revisions(
                                                   Substitution with code
                                                    interference: The baby
       Frequency of errors by type of error         laughed on the clown.
                                                   Substitution with no code
35                                                  interference: The baby
25                                                  laughed to the clown.
15                                                 Omission with code
 5                                                  interference: The
     CI om       om            CI-sub     sub       elephant pulled *(down)
                   TD   LI-S   LI-L                 the zebra's pants.
                                                   Omission with no code
                                                    interference: The baby
                                                    laughed *(at) the clown.
Syntactic complexity
 Friedmann, N., & Lavi, H. (2006). On the order
 of acquisition of A-movement, Wh-movement
 and V-C movement. In A. Belletti, E. Bennati, C.
 Chesi, E. Di Domenico, & I. Ferrari (Eds.),
 Language acquisition and development (pp.
 211-217). Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars
       Subjects: 60 Hebrew speaking children aged
        2;2-3;10: 21 children aged 2;2-2;9, 19 children
        aged 2;10-3;2, and 20 children aged 3;3-3;10.
       Task: SR - 80 sentences (8 categories by
        syntactic complexity), 4 words.

Basic SV order:   A-S-V unergative-PP      yesterday the-boy jumped in-the-garden
                  A-S-V transitive-O       yesterday the-boy built tower
A movement:       A-S-V unaccusative-PP    yesterday the-girl fell in-the-garden
Wh movement:      Topicalization O-S-V-A   ACC-the-tower the-boy built yesterday
                  Subject relatives        (I)-saw ACC-the-girl that-kissed ACC-grandma
                  Object relatives         (I)-saw ACC-the-girl that-grandma kissed
V-C movement:     A-V unergative-S-PP      yesterday jumped the-boy in-the-garden
                  A-V transitive-S-O       yesterday built the-boy tower
"No correlation was found between repetition of any of the
movement types and age (Rpb < 0.22 for all the sentences with
movement), and no significant difference in repetition was detected
between the three age groups: For example, a 2;3 year old girl
succeeded in repeating all the V-C sentences, whereas a 3;10 boy
failed in them. Two girls aged 2;5 succeeded in repeating Wh
sentences, whereas 4 children aged 3;7 failed in them." (p. 214)
    Valian, V. Prasada, S. & Scarpa, J. 2006. Direct object predictability:
    effects on young     children's imitation of sentences. Journal of
    Child Language, 33, 247-269.

   Predictability- It is easier to repeat sentences with highly
    predictable objects than sentences with less predictable objects.

    a. The dog chews a bone.
    b. The dog chews a crayon

   Subjects: 24/23 two-year-olds (mean 28 month, range 25-32) with

   Task 1: Sentence repetition 6-8 morphemes.
   Task 2: Sentence repetition 6-8 morphemes + a stickers game
 Gardner,H., Froud,K., McClelland,A., van der
 Lely,H. K. J. (2006). The development of the
 Grammar and Phonology Screening (GAPS) test
 to assess key markers of specific language
 difficulties in young children. International
 Journal of Language and Communication
 Disorders 41(5), 513-540.
A significant effect of age group: F(4, 618)547.53, p,0.001
   Conti-Ramsden, G., Botting, N., & Faragher, B. 2001.
    Psycholinguistic markers for specific language
    impairment .Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry,
    6, 741-748. MERAV 6/12
   Redmond, S. M. 2005. Differentiating SLI from ADHD
    Using Children's Sentence Recall and Production of Past
    Tense Morphology. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics,
    19:2, 109-127 OLA 6/12
   Stokes S.F., Wong A.M., Fletcher P., Leonard L.B. 2006.
    Nonword repetition and sentence repetition as clinical
    markers of specific language impairment: the case of
    Cantonese. J Speech Lang Hear Res. 49(2):219-36
    DORIT 6/12
 Porat S. 2009. The use of structures involving
 syntactic movement by English-Hebrew Bilingual
 children with SLI. Research Conference on
 Bilingualism and SLI, Jerusalem, Israel,
   31 preschool children (23 bilingual English-Hebrew and
    8 Hebrew-speaking monolinguals), from same
    neighborhood and same (middle-high) SES, attending
    regular preschools or special “language preschools.”
    Bilingual children were screened for both languages
    using standardized tests (CELF Preschool for English,
    Goralnik for Hebrew), monolinguals were screened for
   The bilingual children are divided into:
       Children with typical development in both languages (ALL-TD).
        Most attend regular school, 2 attend language preschool. This
        group without the latter two is called TD.
       Children with Hebrew typical development (H-TD) - less than 1.5
        SD on the Goralink, but more than 1 SD on the CELF.
       Children with English typical development (E-TD) - less than 1
        SD on the CELF, but more than 1.5 SD on the Goralnik.
       Children with atypical development (A-TD) – more than 1 SD on
        the CELF, and more than 1.5 SD on the Goralnik.

                Hebrew                          English

                         TD   HTD   ETD   ATD

   Correct repetition: TD, HTD and ETD performed
   Correct repetition: TD, HTD and ETD combined
    performed significantly better than ATD.
                                                     SLI: Bilingual vs. Monolingual






           Tran SV   Tran VS   Unerg SV   Unerg VS       Unacc SV   Unacc VS   Topicalization   Short passive   Long passive   Sunject RCs   Object RCs

                                                      Bilingual           Monolingual

    The group of bilingual children with SLI
     outperformed the group of monolingual children
     with SLI only on some of the tested categories,
     and performed equally on others.






          T ran SV   T ran VS   Unerg SV   Unerg VS     Unacc SV      Unacc VS   T opicalization   Short passive   Long passive   Subject RCs   Object RCs

                                                  ATD              TD -          HTD               ETD

    The ATD group performed significantly worse compared to the
     typically developing groups mainly in sentences with V-C movement
    Monolinguals preformed worse on V-C movement (in transitive V-S
     and unergative V-S) topicalization and subject RCs, but this is only
     significant for topicalization.
Function vs. Content word errors






            TD   HTD          ETD           ATD   MONO

                   function       content