1.Shanju Lin & Amanda J. Owen Van Horne
Dept of Communication Sciences and Disorders & DeLTA Center
University of Iowa
Attending to & describing motion events
in children with SLI
Do children with SLI attend to and describe same motion elements as their TD peers?
If there are attentional biases in children with SLI, are those biases associated with description biases?
One object moves with respect to another object. Talmy, 1975, 1985
Children with TD
Cognition and language of motion events are early developed.
18-month-olds detect object, trajectory, and the whole motion.
Raskin & Poulin-Dubois, 2002
By age 3, language-specific expressions are learned.
Choi & Bowerman, 1991; Berman & Slobin, 1994; Sebastián & Slobin, 1994
Regardless of language and age, speakers show similar perception for motion elements. Gennari et al., 2002, Lin & Owen Van Horne, in prep;
Papafragou et al., 2002, Papafragou & Selimis, 2010
Amount of information included in motion description increases with age.
Chen & Guo, 2010; Lin & Owen Van Horne, in prep; Slobin, 2004
Children with SLI
Often described as having a gap between their linguistic and cognitive abilities
Use more general-all-purpose (GAP) verbs (e.g., come, go) rather than
specific verbs expressing manner or path (e.g., jump, enter) Rice & Bode, 1993
Have weaker semantic representations for verbs McGregor et al., 2012
Have different biases
when interpreting novel verbs: result-oriented interpretation, rather than motion interpretation Kelly & Rice, 1994
when learning verb argument structures: more errors for change-of-state verbs (e.g., fill, cover) than change-of-location verbs (e.g., put, pour)
Ebbels, et al., 2007
Involves cognition and language
English speakers tend to describe motion
events in manner verbs and use prepositional phrases for path, source and goal.
Categorization task: Which of two change videos
goes with the baseline video?
24 triads of videos
Differ minimally from the baseline on Manner, Path, Source, or Goal to examine element bias/priority
Description task: Describe the 24 baseline videos
SLI & MLU-matches both tended to mention between 1 & 2 motion elements.
Age-matches: between 2 & 3
Compared to AGE group, SLI group are less likely to describe Source (and marginal for Manner)
SLI group show a strong Goal Bias
The chicken wented to the swingset.
The ant goed to the truck.
MLU group show a strong Manner Bias
A hippo was driving a car.
A pig was flying.
AGE group talk about Path, Goal, and Source more than MLU group.
F(2,48)=9.489, p < .001, η2 = 0.28
SLI < AGE, p = .003
MLU < AGE, p < .001
SLI = MLU, p = .383
Group: F(2,48)=9.491, p < .001, ηp2 = 0.283
SLI < AGE, p = .003, MLU < AGE, p < .001
Element: F(3,144)=36.428, p < .001, ηp2 = 0.431
M = P = G > S (S vs. other, p < .001)
Group x Element:
F(6,144)=4.744, p < .001, ηp2 = 0.165
Manner: SLI < MLU, p = .02
SLI = AGE, p = .134
Path: AGE > MLU, p = .006
Goal: SLI > MLU, p = .003
AGE > MLU, p = .001
Source: SLI < AGE, p = .003
MLU < AGE, p = .003
All other group comparisons n.s. all p >.17
Element Bias: F(3,201)=90.230, p < .001, ηp2 = 0.574
S < M, P, G, p < .001; G < M, P, p < .05
M = P, p > .99
Group x Element Bias: F(9,201)=2.258, p = .02, ηp2 = 0.091
Goal: SLI > AGE, p = .046; SLI > MLU, p = .044
Source: SLI < MLU, p = .041; AGE < MLU, p = .01
All other group comparisons n.s., p > .103
Group: F(3,67)=0.073, p = .974
All children fail to notice Source changes or consider them less relevant.
SLI group show a stronger Goal bias.
MLU group show a stronger Source bias, but not stronger than other element biases.
Tasks adapted from Papafragou et al. (2002) & Gennari et al. (2002)
We thank Karla McGregor, Bob McMurray, Word learning Lab, and MACLab at the University of Iowa for help and comments on the experimental design and stimuli. We also thank Allison Haskill at Augustana College, Betty Merrifield and the Scottish Rite Program, and Grantwood AEA for all the help with this project, and the members of Grammar Acquisition Lab at University of Iowa for data collection. This project is funded by a Pre-doctoral Scholarship from Ministry of Education, Taiwan awarded to Shanju Lin, and a University of Iowa Internal Funding Initiative awarded to Amanda J. Owen Van Horne.
Contacts: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Children with SLI attend to and talk about different motion elements compared to their TD peers.
Children with SLI show attentional biases on goal, which is consistent with the fact that their responses tend to include goal also.
They rely heavily on GAP verbs, making it less likely that they mention manner.
Goal is perceptually salient to children with SLI and thus may lead weaker representations of manner verbs.
Goal represents a final reference point and is often more persistent in the stimuli.
Following Kelly & Rice (1993), children with SLI may have different attentional biases such that they notice results, which change their verb learning profiles.
Following Ebbels et al. (2007), children with SLI show weaker semantic representations of change-of-state verbs than change-of-location verbs
We hypothesize that weak verb representations (McGregor, et al., 2012) in children with SLI may be related to language deficits and attentional biases.
If children with SLI do not attend equally well to some elements in events, their representations of elements like manner might be relatively weak and less likely to be associated with a verb.
Teach verbs and test children’s verb use in more complex contexts, e.g., multiple motion elements
Direct children’s attention to manner when teaching motion verbs
Teach manner verbs with various prepositional phrases (over, under, from, to, etc)
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Kelly, D. J. & Rice, M. L. (1993). Preferences for verb interpretation in children with specific language impairment. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 37, 182-192.
Lin, S. & Owen Van Horne, A.J. (in preparation). Describing complex motion events in English- and Mandarin-speaking children: testing verb advantage hypothesis.
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