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Browsing by Author "Galab, Noora"

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  • Galab, Noora (2022)
    Aim of the study. In Finland, the number of multilingual children referred to speech and language therapy assessment is relatively higher than monolingual children. However, distinguishing abnormal linguistic development from typical multilingual development is not straightforward due to the lack of multilingual tests and speech therapists. This study aimed to provide information on the morphosyntactic structures of the expressions of typically developing and language- impaired children aged 4–5 years who speak Arabic as their mother tongue and the deviations that occur in them. The aim was also to assess whether the morphosyntactic deviations produced show a transfer effect of Arabic language. The study is significant from the point of view of differential diagnosis. The qualitative information produced makes it possible to reduce the over- and underdiagnosis of developmental language disorder in native Arabic-speaking children who successively acquire Finnish language. Methods. The study examined 18 children aged 4–5 who speak Arabic as their mother tongue and who successively acquire Finnish language from the broader material of the Multilingua-project. Six of the children were suspected of having developmental language disorder. The study material consisted of recorded assessment situations that were transcribed to evaluate the morphosyntactic structures produced. Three different semi-structured play situations and The Cat Story picture sequencing narrative task were included in the analysis for each subject. The morphosyntactic forms and structures produced by the subjects were analyzed using the FIN-LARSP method. In addition, the morphosyntactic deviations in the expressions and the transfer effect of Arabic language were examined from a qualitative point of view. Results and conclusions. There was great variation in the inflectional repertoires of typically developing and language-impaired children. However, the inflectional repertoires of typically developing children proved to be broader than those of language-impaired children in terms of nouns and verbs. The groups differed in the use of adessive case, the accuracy of verb inflection, the regularity of morphosyntactic deviations, and the use of atypical wordings. In addition, expressions of typically developing subjects appeared to have a more versatile effect of Arabic language transfer compared to language-impaired children. The results help Finnish-speaking speech therapists detect morphosyntactic features that may be signs of a language disorder in Arabic-speaking children acquiring Finnish language.