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NWR in Gulf Arabic–speaking children with DLD (Shaalan, 2020)

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journal contribution
posted on 06.10.2020, 20:52 by Saleh Shaalan
Purpose: This study examined the performance of Gulf Arabic–speaking children with developmental language disorder (DLD) on a Gulf Arabic nonword repetition (GA-NWR) test and compared it to their age- and language-matched groups. We also investigated the role of syllable length, wordlikeness, and phonological complexity in light of NWR theories.
Method: A new GA-NWR test was conducted with three groups of Gulf Arabic–speaking children: school-age children with DLD, language-matched controls (LCs), and age-matched controls (ACs). The test consisted of two- and three-syllable words that either had no clusters, medial clusters, final clusters, or medial + final clusters.
Results: The GA-NWR distinguished between the performance of children with DLD and the LC and AC groups. Results showed significant syllable length, wordlikeness, and phonological complexity effects. Differences between the DLD and typically developing groups were seen in two- and three-syllable nonwords; however, when compared on nonwords with no clusters, children with DLD were not significantly different from the LC group.
Conclusions: The GA-NWR test differentiated between children with DLD and their ACs and LCs. Findings, therefore, support its clinical utility in this variety of Arabic. Results showed that phonological processing factors, such as phonological complexity, may have stronger effects when compared to syllable length effects.

Supplemental Material S1. Nonword repetition test Lists A and B.

Shaalan, S. (2020). Nonword repetition skills in Gulf Arabic–speaking children with developmental language disorder. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2020_JSLHR-20-00040


The author received an Overseas Research Students Award from University College London.