Lexical acquisition in SLI children: An investigation into language-specific and general word-learning mechanisms

A further, complimentary line of inquiry into the nature and cause of SLI focuses upon the use of three different cognitive capacities to learn words: 1) cognitive categories and constraints, 2) inferential - "Theory-of-Mind", and 3) syntax. This work, led by Froud and van der Lely, also addresses the apparent paradox that although lexical development lies at the core of language acquisition, and most children with SLI are impaired in vocabulary development, we do not understand the reasons for this deficit. This word-learning project thus investigates vocabulary deficits in SLI subgroups, examining potential mechanisms responsible for these deficits, integrating clinical and theoretical issues. Towards these ends, we investigate a second SLI subgroup - WF-SLI alongside G-SLI children. It is hoped that the techniques developed for this project to assess word-learning - a process which continues throughout life - may be used with other clinical populations (e.g., Dyslexic children, and adults with acquired language or cognitive disorders).

back to research index