Original Research

Language development of a group of hearing impaired children

Alida M.U. Laubscher
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Journal of the South African Logopedic Society: Vol 17, No 1 | a424 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v17i1.424 | © 2019 Alida M. U. Laubscher | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 November 2016 | Published: 31 December 1970

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Alida M.U. Laubscher, Washington University, United States

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Spoken samples of language from a group of ten hearing impaired children were analysed with respect to development of occurrence of verb tenses and verb inflections, the development of the kernel sentence and four transformations: conjunction, particle displacement, auxiliary "have" and pronoun. The language samples represented an age range of five—three to nine—seven years. The mean hearing level of the ten subjects, in the better ear was 76dB I.S.O. 
From the results obtained, general conclusions seem to emerge. Firstly, the earliest acquired verb tense is the present, followed by, or appearing concurrently with, the present progressive. Secondly, the kernel sentence is correctly used at an early age by some children. As age increases, so does the percentage of children using the kernel sentence. From approximately seven years of age, more transformations are used. The transformations conjunction and particle displacement indicated a clear developmental trend towards greater complexity. The conjunction and pronoun transformations were used by a greater percentage of children. The transformation auxiliary "have" appeared much later and less frequently. 
These developmental trends show strong similarities to the trends observed in normal hearing children by other investigators. There is, however, a time lag in that the hearing impaired children develop these features at a later age and over a longer period of time.


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