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Domain-Specific and Domain-General Processing Accounts in Children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI): Contribution of Cross-Linguistic Evidence

  • Areej Balilah
  • Yasaman Rafat
  • Lisa Archibald
Chapter

Abstract

Children with a specific language impairment (SLI) struggle to learn their native language despite otherwise broadly typical development and adequate opportunities. Much of what is known about the characteristics of SLI is based on English speakers. Several theories have been advanced to explain the observation of disproportionate linguistic deficit among English speakers of SLI. This chapter examines the extent to which such theories are consistent with observations of SLI groups speaking languages other than English. Available cross-linguistic data pertaining to domain-specific phonological and grammatical processing theories, and domain-general information processing accounts are evaluated. None of the theories can account for all of the available data, although often differences can be attributed to the nature of the spoken language under investigation. Cross-linguistic study of SLI has the potential to foster the advancement of theories with greater explanatory power.

Keywords

Specific language impairment Cross-linguistic Domain-specific Domain-general Language impairment 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by funding to the first author from King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia, and a discovery grant to the second author from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Canada.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Areej Balilah
    • 1
  • Yasaman Rafat
    • 1
  • Lisa Archibald
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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