Relative clause sentence processing in korean-speaking school-aged children with and without specific language impairment

Jeewon Yoo, Dongsun Yim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: The goal of this study was to examine online and off-line sentence processing using Korean language relative clause sentences between children with specific language impairment (SLI) and children with typical development (TD). Method: Twenty-four children with TD and 19 children with SLI participated in this study. Children completed online and off-line sentence-processing tasks using relative clause sentences. The response time (RT) data obtained from the online processing task were analyzed at each word position and between adjacent words for items answered both correctly and incorrectly on the off-line comprehension task. A linear mixed-effects model and a generalized linear mixed-effects model were used to analyze the performances on the online/off-line sentence-processing task between the two groups. Results: The results revealed that the processing pattern of RTs on the online processing task differed between the two groups, such that the SLI group did not show the predicted RT increase while the TD group did. Also, the SLI group processed each word with comparable or faster reading rates than the TD group. On the off-line comprehension task, the SLI group performed poorly compared to the TD group. Conclusions: Processing of syntactically complex sentences differed between the TD and SLI groups, such that the SLI group had lower accuracy on the off-line comprehension task and was less efficient on the online processing task as compared to the TD group. These results mainly support the syntactic deficit account in children with SLI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-530
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2016S1A5B5A01021774, awarded to Jeewon Yoo). The authors would like to thank the children who participated in this study. The authors thank Eun Jung Kong, Ji Sook Park, Margarethe McDonald, and Ilyoup Kwak for helpful comments in analyzing data and Anna Shin and Tyra Shin for their help with proofreading on the earlier version of the article.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.


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