The temporal relationship between speech and manual communicative gesture in children with specific language impairment
This study examined the relationship between word frequency and timing of communicative gestures in children with specific language impairment (SLI) and typically-developing (TD) children. Nine children with SLI and twelve age-matched TD children produced a narrative after watching an animated cartoon. Redundant gesture-speech pairs were identified and coded for temporal alignment between gesture and speech onset and gesture duration. Word frequency for the co-occurring words was determined using the SUBTLEXus database. No significant group differences were found for temporal alignment or gesture duration. However, word frequency was associated with temporal alignment and gesture duration in TD children, but not in children with SLI. This finding suggests that the role communicative gestures play in lexical access may be different in children with SLI relative to TD children.
Keywords: word frequency, children ages 6 to 10 years, specific language impairment, temporal alignment, gesture duration
Published online: 06 December 2016
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