Noun-verb processing differences in SLI children and language-age matched controls

MSc Dissertation at University of Essex


The question of noun-verb processing in children is widely discussed in psychology. There is a certain disagreement in the
literature as to whether a noun bias is really universal and if not which factors it depends on. Another issue is whether
there is any difference between two various types of verbs - transitive and intransitive.

In the present study children's naming abilities were investigated to see if naming of objects is different from naming of
actions. Three groups of stimuli (nouns, transitive and intransitive verbs) were matched for frequency, familiarity and age
of acquisition. The examination of a predictive ability of these variables was also the aim of the study. There were two
groups of children: 8 children with developmental language disorder (SLI) and 22 language-age matched control children
aged five years. Several associative tasks were carried out with the control children to further investigate noun-verb
processing differences. The results from the associative tasks were compared to those from the picture naming task.

The SLI and control children showed similar patterns of results for picture naming. The nouns were easier to name than
transitive and intransitive verbs. There was no difference in accuracy for the two verb types. The performance of the
control children in the associative tasks revealed a noun bias. The results are discussed in terms of different factors
influencing noun-verb differences in language processing. Possible reasons that can account for absence of a transitivity
effect are considered. Language abilities required for associative tasks compared to picture naming are also mentioned.

Individual Differences in Neuropsychological Dimensions: From Treatment Programs to Educational Methods

Final essay at the European Graduate School of Child Neuropsychology


Current paper provides an overview of studies of individual differences in brain functioning in normal development as well
as in learning disabled population. Different approaches to identifying subtypes of learning disabilities are presented and
designing of relevant treatment programs is discussed. Application of neuropsychological methods of analysis used for
learning disabled children to normals is suggested in order to provide appropriate teaching methods according to individual
peculiarities of a learner. It is proposed that adjustment of teaching programs to individual characteristics of a group of
children (revealed on the basis of neuropsychological analysis) would prevent in at least some cases (if not in the
majority of them) a certain learning disability to develop and, consequently, remediation procedures would not have
to be designed.

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