Aspects of grammar sensitive to procedural memory deficits in children with specific language impairment.
Sengottuvel K., Rao PK.
Procedural deficit hypothesis claims that language deficit in children with specific language impairment is affiliated to sequence learning problems. However, studies did not explore on aspects of grammar vulnerable to sequence learning deficits. The present study makes predictions for aspects of grammar that could be sensitive to procedural deficits based on core ideas of procedural deficit hypothesis. The hypothesis for the present study was that the grammatical operations that require greater sequencing abilities (such as inflectional operations) would be more affected in children with language impairment. Further, the influence of sequencing difficulties would be even greater in agglutinating inflectional languages. An adapted serial reaction time task for sequence learning measurements along with grammatical tasks on derivation, inflection, and sentence complexity were examined on typically developing and language impaired children. Results were in favor of procedural deficit hypothesis and its close relation to non-adjacent grammatical operations. The findings were discussed using procedural deficits, declarative compensatory mechanism, and statistical learning deficits.