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SLI in Bilinguals: Testing Complex Syntax and Semantics in German
Tatjana Lein, Cornelia Hamann, Monika Rothweiler, Lina Abed Ibrahim, Solveig Chilla, and Hilal San
124-135 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


The study aims at contributing to the identification of specific language impairment (SLI) in bilingual children. We investigate 6 groups of 5 children each (age range: 5;6-8;11) in a German sentence repetition task (SRT, Hamann et al. 2013) and in the exhaustivity task (EXT) described in Schulz (2015). With respect to these two tasks, we compare the performance of monolingual typically developing (TD) children to monolingual children with SLI (Mo-TD vs. Mo-SLI), monolingual and bilingual typical children (Mo-TD vs. Bi-TD), bilingual typical children to monolingual children with SLI (Bi-TD vs. Mo-SLI), bilingual and monolingual children with SLI (Mo-SLI vs. Bi-SLI), and finally, bilingual typical children to bilingual children diagnosed with SLI (Bi-TD vs. Bi-SLI). The bilingual children have Arabic, Portuguese, and Turkish as L1s and German as L2. The results suggest that the SRT is well suited to distinguish language impaired children from typical children in monolingual and bilingual populations, whereas the EXT, though highly sensitive in monolingual groups, does not reliably identify SLI in bilinguals in this age range.

Published in

Proceedings of the 13th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2015)
edited by David Stringer, Jordan Garrett, Becky Halloran, and Sabrina Mossman
Table of contents
Printed edition: $290.00