Novel Morpheme Learning in Monolingual and Bilingual Children Purpose The purpose of the present study was to examine the utility of a novel morpheme learning task for indexing typical language abilities in children characterized by diverse language backgrounds. Method Three groups of 5- to 6-year-old children were tested: monolingual speakers of English, native speakers of Spanish ... Research Article
Newly Published
Research Article  |   April 11, 2017
Novel Morpheme Learning in Monolingual and Bilingual Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Margarita Kaushanskaya
    Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Megan Gross
    Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Enanna Sheena
    Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Rachel Roman
    Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Margarita Kaushanskaya: kaushanskaya@wisc.edu
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Carol Miller
    Associate Editor: Carol Miller×
Article Information
Development / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Newly Published / Research Article
Research Article   |   April 11, 2017
Novel Morpheme Learning in Monolingual and Bilingual Children
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-16-0011
History: Received January 22, 2016 , Revised May 3, 2016 , Accepted October 12, 2016
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-16-0011
History: Received January 22, 2016; Revised May 3, 2016; Accepted October 12, 2016

Purpose The purpose of the present study was to examine the utility of a novel morpheme learning task for indexing typical language abilities in children characterized by diverse language backgrounds.

Method Three groups of 5- to 6-year-old children were tested: monolingual speakers of English, native speakers of Spanish who also spoke English (Spanish-L1 bilinguals), and native speakers of English who also spoke Spanish (English-L1 bilinguals). All children were taught a new derivational morpheme /ku/ marking part–whole distinction in conjunction with English nouns. Retention was measured via a receptive task, and sensitivity and reaction time (RT) data were collected.

Results All three groups of children learned the novel morpheme successfully and were able to generalize its use to untaught nouns. Furthermore, language characteristics (degree of exposure and levels of performance on standardized measures) did not contribute to bilingual children's learning outcomes.

Conclusion Together, the findings indicate that this particular version of the novel morpheme learning task may be resistant to influences associated with language background and suggest potential usefulness of the task to clinical practice.

Acknowledgments
The present project was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grants R03 DC010465 (awarded to Kaushanskaya), R01 DC011750 (awarded to Ellis Weismer and Kaushanskaya), and F31 DC013920 (awarded to Gross), as well as by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Grant T32 HD049899 (awarded to MacDonald). We wish to express gratitude to all of the families who participated in the present study, the administrators and the teachers in the Madison Metropolitan school district who generously aided in participant recruitment, and the members of the Language Acquisition and Bilingualism Lab for their invaluable assistance with data collection and data coding.
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