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Commun Sci Disord. 2008;13(1): 86-102.
The Effects of Discourse Length on Inference Abilities of Children with Specific Language Impairment
Sunhee Ko` , and Mina Hwang`
Copyright ©2008 The Korean Academy of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology
고선희(Sunhee Ko)| 황민아(Mina Hwang)
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specific language impairment (SLI) experience difficulties in language processing when the processing load of a language task exceeds their limited capacities. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the inference abilities of children with SLI when the processing load was increased by changing the lengths of discourses.
The participants were 10 children with SLI between the ages 6;5 and 9;6, 10 normal children with matched chronological ages (CA), and 10 normal children with matched language ages (LA). They listened to 10 short discourses and 10 long discourses and answered two different types of questions for each discourse; a literal question and an inference question.
When answering the literal questions, regardless of the length of discourse, the children with SLI exhibited significantly poor performances compared to the CA matched children, but not to the LA matched children. In answering the inference questions, the SLI children performed significantly poorer than the CA matched children in both conditions of discourse length. However, the SLI children made more inference errors compared to the LA matched children only when the discourses were long.
Discussion & Conclusion
In making inferences, no significant differences were noted between the SLI children and the LA matched younger children when the discourses were short. Such results are in consistent with those of previous research where children made inferences based on short discourses or a series of words. When the SLI children in this study had to make inferences after given long discourses, they showed significant difficulties relative not only to the CA matched children but also to the LA matched children. The results imply that children with SLI experience difficulties in making inferences only when the processing load of the inference task exceeds their limited capacity
Keywords: 단순언어장애 | 추론 | 제한된 처리 용량 | 처리 부담 | 담화 길이 children with Specific Language Impairment | inference | limited processing capacity
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