A comparative study of chunking mechanism in children with and without Language Delay

Soyeon Chun, Dongsun Yim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objectives: The purpose of this study is to find whether there is a difference in chunking skills between children with Language Delay (LD) and Typical Language Development (TD) in sentence repetition. LDs are known to have difficulties in sentence repetition. The study assumes that the task taps their chunking skills and tries to identify the performance differences between LD and TD. Methods: A total of 32 children between 5 to 7 years of age participated in this study. Chunking skills were assessed by word list recall and a symmetric-asymmetric matrix task. Three-way mixed ANOVA was used to analyze group difference according to presentation type and span in each task. The Pearson correlation coefficient was used to find whether the tasks correlated with vocabulary skills. Results: There were significant main effects in group, type and span in the recall task. Three-way interaction was also significant. Among the tasks, sentential order word list recall was correlated with vocabulary skills of TD, whereas LD showed correlation between the symmetric and asymmetric matrix and their vocabulary skills. Conclusion: LDs have difficulties in utilizing their long-term memory by using chunking in a temporal situation, especially in auditory-verbal modality. Sentence repetition performances of TD are likely to be correlated with their language ability whereas the task performance of LD seems to be more closely associated with their nonverbal cognitive and general memory span.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-244
Number of pages12
JournalCommunication Sciences and Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Korean Academy of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.


  • Chunking
  • Language delay
  • Sentence repetition
  • Symmetry


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