Word Learning by Adults with Learning Disability: Effect of Grammatical Class
AdvisorPlante, Elena M
Committee ChairPlante, Elena M
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractA novel word learning paradigm in a reading context was employed to investigate the ability of adults with and without learning disability to learn new words. The participants were required to read a short English story. The story was based on an Indian folk tale to eliminate any confounding effect of familiarity with content. Two nouns and two verbs from the story were replaced by novel words. The story was read in three sections. The target non-words occurred once in the first section, allowing for fast mapping of the words. The non-words occurred three times each in the second and the third sections of the story allowing for additional slow mapping. After reading each section, participants were tested for different aspects of lexical acquisition such as production of words, comprehension of the content, and grammatical knowledge associated with the non-word. This allowed for an examination of the growth in learning with increased exposure to the words in context. Results indicated that the normal language group performed significantly better than the learning disability group. Moreover, nouns were more easily learned than verbs. The overall performance of both groups improved with each section read, suggesting that more experience with the word assisted learning of novel forms.
Degree ProgramSpeech, Language, & Hearing Sciences