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Browsing by Author "Urrio, Leena"

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  • Urrio, Leena (2019)
    Aims. This study examines the expressions of 4–5 year old bilingual (Russian-Finnish) children with and without developmental language disorder and the aim is to examine, how the morphosyntactic repertoires of these children differ from each other, what type of morphosyntactic changes are observable in these expressions and is it possible to track traces that illustrate the effect of crosslinguistic transfer of Russian language on the morphosyntax of Finnish language. Examining the language development of bilingual children with and without developmental language disorder is important, because more information about the linguistic features that indicate developmental language disorder is needed. This study is one of the first studies in Finland that examines the morphosyntax in the Finnish-language expressions of bilingual children, whose first language is a minority language. This study is part of the PAULA-project, which examines the effects of a small group intervention targeted to children with refugee and foreign backgrounds. Methods. The material of this study consists of video footage from the PAULA-project’s language assessment situations. The children’s skills were assessed with the Finnish Test of Phonology, the Reynell Developmental Language Scales (test of receptive speech) and The Cat Story 3 picture sequencing narrative task and in three short play situations. The expressions of four typically developing bilingual 4–5-year-old children and three 4-year-olds with developmental language disorder were transcribed from the video footage. The language samples were analyzed with the Index of Productive Syntax (IPSyn). Verb and noun inflection were also examined with qualitative methods. Results and conclusions. The morphosyntactic repertoires of case markers in the typically developing children’s nominal phrases turned out to be more extensive than the repertoire of the children with developmental language disorder. Use of adverbials in verb phrases indicated that the typically developing children were able to produce more complex phrases than children with developmental language disorder. In this study, the morphosyntactic features that seem to indicate developmental language disorder in the Finnish-language expressions were inappropriate use of case markers or the complete lack of case markers in noun phrases, frequent errors in subject-verb agreement, and ungrammatical word formation. Effects of crosslinguistic transfer were identified in the use of negatition, past tense and code-switching.