Production of Spanish Grammatical Forms in U.S. Bilingual Children Purpose The purpose of this analysis was to understand how grammatical morpheme production in Spanish for typically developing Spanish–English bilingual children relates to mean length of utterance in words (MLUw) and the extent to which different bilingual profiles influence order of grammatical morpheme acquisition. Method Participants included 228 ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 06, 2018
Production of Spanish Grammatical Forms in U.S. Bilingual Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Alisa Baron
    Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Lisa M. Bedore
    Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Elizabeth D. Peña
    School of Education, University of California, Irvine
  • Samantha D. Lovgren-Uribe
    Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Amanda A. López
    Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Elizabeth Villagran
    Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, The University of Texas at Austin
  • 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. ×
  • Lisa Bedore is now at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
    Lisa Bedore is now at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA×
  • Correspondence to Alisa Baron: abaron@utexas.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor-in-Chief: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Editor: Carol Miller
    Editor: Carol Miller×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 06, 2018
Production of Spanish Grammatical Forms in U.S. Bilingual Children
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2018, Vol. 27, 975-987. doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-17-0074
History: Received May 23, 2017 , Revised September 13, 2017 , Accepted January 31, 2018
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2018, Vol. 27, 975-987. doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-17-0074
History: Received May 23, 2017; Revised September 13, 2017; Accepted January 31, 2018

Purpose The purpose of this analysis was to understand how grammatical morpheme production in Spanish for typically developing Spanish–English bilingual children relates to mean length of utterance in words (MLUw) and the extent to which different bilingual profiles influence order of grammatical morpheme acquisition.

Method Participants included 228 Spanish–English bilingual children ages 4;0–7;6 (years;months). Grammatical morpheme accuracy was evaluated using an experimental version of the Bilingual English–Spanish Assessment (Peña, Gutiérrez-Clellen, Iglesias, Goldstein, & Bedore, 2014). MLUw data were calculated from children's narrative samples. Production accuracy of plural nouns, singular and plural definite articles, preterite tense, imperfect aspect, direct object clitics, prepositions, subjunctive, and conjunctions was calculated and analyzed as a function of MLUw in Spanish. Level of accuracy on these forms was compared for Spanish-dominant and English-dominant groups.

Results Accuracy was significantly associated with MLUw. The relative difficulty of Spanish grammatical morphemes is highly similar across different bilingual profiles.

Conclusions There are common elements of Spanish that are easy (imperfect, plural nouns, singular articles, conjunctions), medium (plural articles, preterite), or hard (prepositions, direct object clitics, subjunctive), regardless of whether a child is a Spanish-dominant or English-dominant bilingual.

Acknowledgments
Data for this study were from archival data originally collected with support to the second and third authors from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, Award R01 DC007439-01. The research for the BESA was supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: Contract No. N01-DC-8-2100 Development and Validation of a Language Test for Children Speaking Non-Standard English: A Study of Bilingual Hispanic Children (to Aquiles Iglesias, Elizabeth Peña, and Vera Gutiérrez-Clellen). The authors would like to express their gratitude to the children who participated and to their parents who allowed them to participate and to the students who helped throughout the project.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access