The influence of vocabulary size, phonotactic probability, and wordlikeness on nonword repetitions of children with and without specific language impairment

Benjamin Munson, Beth A. Kurtz, Jennifer Windsor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research has shown that children repeat high-probability phoneme sequences more accurately than low-probability ones. This effect attenuates with age, and its decrease is predicted by developmental changes in the size of the lexicon (J. Edwards, M. E. Beckman, & B. Munson, 2004; B. Munson, 2001; B. Munson, J. Edwards, & M. Beckman, 2005). This study expands on these findings by examining relationships between vocabulary size and repetition accuracy of nonwords varying in phonotactic probability by 16 children with specific language impairment (SLI), 16 chronological-age-matched (CA) peers with typical speech and language development, and 16 younger children matched with the children with SLI on vocabulary size (VS). As in previous research, children with SLI repeated nonwords less accurately than did CA children. The children with SLI and the VS children showed similar levels of nonword repetition accuracy. Phonotactic probability affected repetition accuracy more for children with SLI and VS children than for CA children. Regression analyses showed that measures of vocabulary size were the best predictor of the difference in repetition accuracy between high- and low-probability sequences. Analyses by items showed that measures of phonotactic probability were stronger predictors of repetition accuracy than judgments of wordlikeness. Taken together, the results support research demonstrating that vocabulary size mediates the influence of phonotactic probability on nonword repetition, perhaps due to its influence on the ongoing refinement of phonological categories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1033-1047
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume48
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2005

Keywords

  • Language impairment
  • Nonward repetition
  • Phonotactic probability
  • School-age children
  • Vocabulary size

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The influence of vocabulary size, phonotactic probability, and wordlikeness on nonword repetitions of children with and without specific language impairment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this