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See detailThe impact of lexical frequency on sentence comprehension in children with specific language impairment
Leclercq, Anne-Lise ULg; Majerus, Steve ULg; Jacob, Laura et al

in Research in Developmental Disabilities (2014), 35

Children with SLI generally exhibit poor sentence comprehension skills. We examined the specific impact of grammatical complexity and lexical frequency on comprehension performance, yielding contrasting ... [more ▼]

Children with SLI generally exhibit poor sentence comprehension skills. We examined the specific impact of grammatical complexity and lexical frequency on comprehension performance, yielding contrasting results. The present study sheds new light on sentence comprehension in children with SLI by investigating a linguistic factor which has attracted little research interest: the impact of the lexical frequency of known words on sentence comprehension. We also examined the impact of grammatical complexity and sentence length by independently varying these two factors. Fifteen children with SLI, 15 age- and IQ-matched controls, and 15 controls matched on lexical and grammatical skills, performed sentence comprehension tasks in which three linguistic factors were manipulated: lexical frequency (sentences containing words of either low or high lexical frequency), grammatical complexity (sentence containing either a subject relative clause or an object relative clause) and sentence length (either short or long sentences). Results indicated that children with SLI performed more poorly overall compared to age- and IQmatched children and to lexical and morphosyntactic age-matched children. However, their performance was not more affected by either sentence length or clause type than that of control children. Only lexical frequency affected sentence comprehension to a greater extent in children with SLI relative to the control groups, revealing that SLI children’s sentence comprehension abilities are particularly affected by the presence of lowfrequency but familiar words. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Impact of Complexity on Sentence Comprehension in Children with Specific Language Impairment
Leclercq, Anne-Lise ULg; Majerus, Steve ULg; Jacob, Laura et al

Poster (2012, June)

In recent years, there has been growing evidence that children with specific language impairment (SLI) show poor sentence comprehension performance. However, factors determining sentence comprehension in ... [more ▼]

In recent years, there has been growing evidence that children with specific language impairment (SLI) show poor sentence comprehension performance. However, factors determining sentence comprehension in SLI remain unclear. Limited processing capacities have been suggested as a potential cause of their syntactic problem (Ellis Weismer & Hesketh, 1996; Montgomery, 2000), but this hypothesis has not been directly addressed by manipulating inner sentence complexity. This study aims at investigating the limited capacity theory of language impairment in a sentence comprehension task, by manipulating various aspects of inner sentence complexity, as defined by the Capacity Constrained Comprehension theory (Just & Carpenter, 1992). Fifteen children with SLI, 15 age-and-IQ-matched controls, and 15 controls matched for receptive lexical and grammatical abilities performed an auditory sentence comprehension task in which lexical frequency, sentence length, and the type of relative clause (subject- or object-relativized clauses) were manipulated. Results showed a main effect of group (F(2,42)=25.40, p<.001): children with SLI performed worse than language-matched and age-matched control groups. Main effects of relative clause type (F(1,42)=198.37, p<.001) and sentence length (F(1,42)=46.29, p<.001) were also found, showing overall better performances for sentences with a subject rather than an object relative clause and for short rather than long sentences. However, the SLI group was affected to the same extent by these variables as the control groups. At the same time, a significant group-by-frequency interaction effect was found (F(2,42)=4.03, p<.05), revealing that only the SLI group showed poorer sentence comprehension performance for sentences containing low frequency words. These data confirm the severity and specificity of sentence comprehension difficulties in children with SLI (e.g., van der Lely 2005). Given that our SLI group showed impaired sentence comprehension performance relative to younger children performing at the same level on a standardized test of grammatical comprehension, it appears that processing full reversible relative clauses is especially difficult for children with specific language impairment. Moreover, SLI children’s sentence comprehension abilities are particularly affected by the presence of low frequency but familiar words, even when compared to children matched on vocabulary knowledge. [less ▲]

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See detailImpact of morphosyntactic complexity in sentence comprehension in children with SLI
Leclercq, Anne-Lise ULg; Majerus, Steve ULg; Jacob, Laura et al

Poster (2010, June)

Detailed reference viewed: 83 (7 ULg)