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Early grammatical development in Spanish children with Down syndrome*

  • MIGUEL GALEOTE (a1), PILAR SOTO (a2), EUGENIA SEBASTIÁN (a2), ELENA CHECA (a1) and CONCEPCIÓN SÁNCHEZ-PALACIOS (a1)...

Abstract

The objective of this work was to analyze morphosyntactic development in a wide sample of children with Down syndrome (DS) (n = 92) and children with typical development (TD) (n = 92) with a mental age (MA) of 20 to 29 months. Children were individually matched for gender and MA (Analysis 1) and for vocabulary size (Analysis 2). Information about morphosyntax was obtained using an adaptation of the CDI for children with DS. In both analyses, the number of children with DS and with TD who combined words was similar. Analysis 1 showed that children with DS produced shorter utterances, with less morphosyntactic complexity and less morphological suffixes than children with TD, despite having the same mental age. The developmental pattern was similar, although slower in children with DS. Analysis 2 showed that the performance of children with DS was lower than the performance of children with TD in relation to morphosyntactic complexity and morphological suffixes.

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Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Miguel Galeote, Universidad de Málaga – Developmental Psychology, Facultad de Psicología // Campus de Teatinos, s/n. Málaga 20071, Spain. e-mail: mgaleote@uma.es

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This research was supported by a grant from the Spanish Ministry for Science and Innovation (Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación) and by the European Regional Development Fund (Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional – FEDER; PSI2008-02748). We would like to express our thanks to the children and their families, and to the many therapists of Down syndrome associations and early intervention units, as well as to the staff and the people from the nurseries who participated in our research.

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