Development of verb inflections among Bangla-speaking children with language disorder

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Sultana, Asifa
Stokes, Stephanie F.
Klee, Thomas
Fletcher, Paul
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John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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Background: Children with language disorder across languages have problems with verb morphology. The nature of these problems varies according to the typology of the language. The language analyzed in this paper is the Standard Bangla spoken in Dhaka, Bangladesh, by more than 200 million people. It is an underexplored language with agglutinative features in its verb inflections. Some information on the acquisition of the language by typically developing children is available, but to date we have no information on the nature of ALD. As in many places in the developing world, the circumstances for research into language disorder are challenging, as there is no well‐ordered infrastructure for the identification of these children and approaches to intervention are not evidence based. This study represents the first attempt to characterize the nature of morphosyntactic limitations in standard Bangla‐speaking children with language disorder. Aims: To describe the performance of a group of children with language disorder on elicitation procedures for three Bangla verb inflections of increasing structural complexity—present simple, present progressive and past progressive—and to compare their abilities on these forms with those of a group of typically developing Bangla‐speaking children. Methods & Procedures: Nine children with language disorder (mean age = 88.11 months) were recruited from a special school in Dhaka. Eight of the children also had a differentiating or co‐occurring condition. They responded to three tasks: a semi‐structured conversation to elicit present simple, and two picture‐based tasks to elicit present progressive and past progressive. Their performance was compared with data available from a large group of younger typically developing children. Outcomes and Results: Group data indicated a comparable trajectory of performance by the children with language disorder with the typically developing children (present simple > present progressive > past progressive), but with significantly lower mean scores. Standard deviations suggested considerable individual variation and individual profiles were constructed for each child, revealing varying patterns of ability, some of which did not accord with the typical developmental trajectory and/or substitution patterns. Conclusions & Implications: This study identified verb morphology deficits in Bangla‐speaking children with language disorder who had asociated conditions. Variation in performance among the children suggests that individual profiles will be most effective in guiding intervention.
Language development in Bangla , Verb inflections , Language disorder , CATALISE consortium
Sultana, A., Stokes, S. F., Klee, T. and Fletcher, P. (2018) 'Development of verb inflections among Bangla-speaking children with language disorder', International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders. doi:10.1111/1460-6984.12438
© 2018, Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Sultana, A., Stokes, S. F., Klee, T. and Fletcher, P. (2018) 'Development of verb inflections among Bangla-speaking children with language disorder', International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.