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Beyond morphosyntax in developing bilinguals and “specific” language impairment

  • Kathryn Kohnert (a1) and Kerry Danahy Ebert (a1)

Extract

In the Keynote Article, “The Interface Between Bilingual Development and Specific Language Impairment,” Johanne Paradis considers issues and evidence at the intersection of children learning two languages and primary or specific language impairment (SLI). The review focuses on morphosyntactic evidence and the fit of this evidence with maturational (domain-specific) and limited processing capacity (LPC; domain-general) theories of language impairment. We agree with Paradis that studies that systematically and simultaneously investigate the behavioral profile of dual-language learners and children with language impairment are of significant theoretical and practical value. In our commentary we aim to broaden the behavioral profile to be considered in these populations, beyond the level of morphosyntax. In line with this aim we use the term primary language impairment (PLI) for the same population referred to as SLI by Paradis.

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