Verb production by individuals with Down syndrome during narration

Susan J. Loveall, Marie Moore Channell, Leonard J Abbeduto, Frances A. Conners

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Despite research identifying verb knowledge as a strong predictor of later syntactic skills in typical development, virtually no research has examined verb development in Down syndrome. Aims: The purpose of this study was to examine verb production (density, diversity, and type-token ratios) by individuals with Down syndrome in the context of story generation relative to two comparison groups – nonverbal cognitive ability level matches with typical development and chronological age matches with mixed-etiology intellectual disability. Methods and Procedures: Thirty-five participants with Down syndrome (11–21 years), 27 participants with intellectual disability (13–20 years), and 29 participants with typical development (4–6 years) completed a narrative story generation task. Transcripts were coded and analyzed for verb production. Outcomes and Results: Examining overall verb production, participants with Down syndrome produced narratives with less verb density than participants with typical development and had smaller verb type-token ratios than participants with intellectual disability. Upon examining lexical verb production, participants with Down syndrome produced narratives with less lexical verb density than participants with typical development. Conclusions and Implications: The results indicate that individuals with Down syndrome have a developmentally appropriate diversity of verbs in their lexicon but are not using verbs as frequently as comparison groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-91
Number of pages10
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Volume85
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

Keywords

  • Down syndrome
  • Expressive language
  • Expressive vocabulary
  • Intellectual disability
  • Verbs
  • Word categories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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