chapter  13
Phonological Breakdowns in Children with Specific Language Impairment
WithKristine M. Yont, Adele W. Miccio, Lynne E. Hewitt
Pages 8

Children with specific language impairment (SLI) have defici ts in morphosyntactic, lexical, and pragmatic development that limit their communicative success (Fey, Warr-Leeper, Webber, & Disher, 1988). In addition, many children with SLI have concomitant speech disorders (Shriberg, Tomblin, & McSweeny, 1999) that further compound their communication difficulties. The phonological characteristics of children with SLI have been reported in many studies (see Leonard, 1998 for a review). Early studies found that children with SLI have errors in their production of individual consonants and vowels (Farwell, 1972; Leonard, 1973). More recent inquiries report homonymy in the productions of children with SLI (Leonard, Camarata, Schwartz, Chapman, & Messick, 1985), difficulty with certain feature contrasts such as voicing (Catts & Jenson, 1983), and unusual error patterns (Fey, 1985; Leonard & Brown, 1984; Leonard, 1985). Children with SLI also have phonological errors resulting from contextual influences within and between words (Chiat, 1989; Grunwell, 1992). For example, Leonard’s (1982) description of the phonological characteristics of children with SLI revealed that almost a quarter of errors in stop consonants were attributable to harmony. In addition, Leonard (1982) reported that children with SLI experienced errors due to syllable reduplication approximately 15% of the time, and syllable reductions almost 40% of the time, during extended conversations.