The Development of Syntactic Complexity and the Irregular Past Tense in Children Who Do and Do Not Stutter
Ratner, Nan B
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This study examined spontaneous language samples and standardized test data obtained from 31 pairs of children who stutter (CWS), ages 25-59 months, and age-matched children who do not stutter (CWNS). Developmental Sentence Scores (DSS; Lee, 1974) as well as the relationships among age, DSS, and other standardized test scores were compared for both groups. No substantial differences were found between groups in the syntactic complexity of spontaneous language; however, the two groups show different relationships between age and DSS and between test scores and DSS. Additionally, observed differences between CWS and CWNS in patterns of past-tense errors and usage are discussed in light of a recent theoretical model of language performance in populations with suspected basal ganglia involvement (Ullman, 2004).