Morphological priming in Spanish-English bilingual children with and without language impairment



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The purpose of this study was to gain insight into the amount of language models (i.e., dose frequency) that Spanish-English bilingual children with and without specific language impairment (SLI) require in order to consistently produce challenging target grammatical forms for 6 morphemes, 3 in English and 3 in Spanish, via a structural priming task. Participants included two 2nd grade children with SLI, five typically developing kindergarten children, and three typically developing 2nd grade peers. Participants were administered 10 control and 10 experimental cloze phrase computer tasks for each morpheme. In the control condition participants finished cloze phrase sentences which targeted the target morpheme while in the experimental task participants heard a model of the target morpheme and were subsequently required to finish the cloze phrase. Results replicated results of structural priming for all groups in each language. Results also indicated that Spanish was more robust in producing morphological priming effects in comparison to English morphological forms possibly due to linguistic differences. Clinical and research implications are discussed.