South African Journal of Communication Disorders - latest Issue
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Volume 63, Issue 2, 2016
Lexical development of noun and predicate comprehension and production in isiZulu : original researchSource: South African Journal of Communication Disorders 63, pp 1 –10 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v63i2.169More Less
This study seeks to investigate the development of noun and predicate comprehension and production in isiZulu-speaking children between the ages of 25 and 36 months. It compares lexical comprehension and production in isiZulu, using an Italian developed and validated vocabulary assessment tool: The Picture Naming Game (PiNG) developed by Bello, Giannantoni, Pettenati, Stefanini and Caselli (2012). The PiNG tool includes four subtests, one each for subnoun comprehension (NC), noun production (NP), predicate comprehension (PC), and predicate production (PP). Children are shown these lexical items and then asked to show comprehension and produce certain lexical items. After adaptation into the South African context, the adapted version of PiNG was used to directly assess the lexical development of isiZulu with the three main objectives to (1) test the efficiency of the adaptation of a vocabulary tool to measure isiZulu comprehension and production development, (2) test previous findings done in many cross-linguistic comparisons that have found that both comprehension and production performance increase with age for a lesser-studied language, and (3) present our findings around the comprehension and production of the linguistic categories of nouns and predicates. An analysis of the results reported in this study show an age effect throughout the entire sample. Across all the age groups, the comprehension of the noun and predicate subtests was better performed than the production of noun and predicate subtests. With regard to lexical items, the responses of children showed an influence of various factors, including the late acquisition of items, possible problems with stimuli presented to them, and the possible input received by the children from their home environment.
Identifying phonological processing deficits in Northern Sotho-speaking children : the use of non-word repetition as a language assessment tool in the South African context : original researchAuthor Carien WilsenachSource: South African Journal of Communication Disorders 63, pp 1 –11 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v63i2.145More Less
Diagnostic testing of speech/language skills in the African languages spoken in South Africa is a challenging task, as standardised language tests in the official languages of South Africa barely exist. Commercially available language tests are in English, and have been standardised in other parts of the world. Such tests are often translated into African languages, a practice that speech language therapists deem linguistically and culturally inappropriate. In response to the need for developing clinical language assessment instruments that could be used in South Africa, this article reports on data collected with a Northern Sotho non-word repetition task (NRT). Non-word repetition measures various aspects of phonological processing, including phonological working memory (PWM), and is used widely by speech language therapists, linguists, and educational psychologists in the Western world. The design of a novel Northern Sotho NRT is described, and it is argued that the task could be used successfully in the South African context to discriminate between children with weak and strong Northern Sotho phonological processing ability, regardless of the language of learning and teaching. The NRT was piloted with 120 third graders, and showed moderate to strong correlations with other measures of PWM, such as digit span and English non-word repetition. Furthermore, the task was positively associated with both word and fluent reading in Northern Sotho, and it reliably predicted reading outcomes in the tested population. Suggestions are made for improving the current version of the Northern Sotho NRT, whereafter it should be suitable to test learners from various age groups.
Lexical and grammatical development in trilingual speakers of isiXhosa, English and Afrikaans : original researchAuthor Anneke P. PotgieterSource: South African Journal of Communication Disorders 63, pp 1 –11 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v63i2.141More Less
Background: There is a dearth of normative data on linguistic development among child speakers of Southern African languages, especially in the case of the multilingual children who constitute the largest part of this population. This inevitably impacts on the accuracy of developmental assessments of such speakers. Already negative lay opinion on the effect of early multilingualism on language development rates could be exacerbated by the lack of developmental data, ultimately affecting choices regarding home and school language policies.
Objectives: To establish whether trilinguals necessarily exhibit developmental delay when compared to monolinguals and, if so, whether this delay (1) occurs in terms of both lexical and grammatical development; and (2) in all three the trilinguals' languages, regardless of input quantity.
Method: Focusing on isiXhosa, South African English and Afrikaans, the study involved a comparison of 11 four-year-old developing trilinguals' acquisition of vocabulary and passive constructions with that of 10 age-matched monolingual speakers of each language.
Results: The trilinguals proved to be monolingual-like in their lexical development in the language to which, on average, they had been exposed most over time, that is, isiXhosa. No developmental delay was found in the trilinguals' acquisition of passive constructions, regardless of the language of testing.
Conclusion: As previously found for bilingual development, necessarily reduced quantity of exposure does not hinder lexical development in the trilinguals' input dominant language. The overall lack of delay in their acquisition of the passive is interpreted as possible evidence of cross-linguistic bootstrapping and support for early multilingual exposure.
The comprehension and production of quantifiers in isiXhosa-speaking Grade 1 learners : original researchSource: South African Journal of Communication Disorders 63, pp 1 –10 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v63i2.138More Less
Background: Quantifiers form part of the discourse-internal linguistic devices that children need to access and produce narratives and other classroom discourse. Little is known about the development - especially the prodiction - of quantifiers in child language, specifically in speakers of an African language.
Objectives: The study aimed to ascertain how well Grade 1 isiXhosa first language (L1) learners perform at the beginning and at the end of Grade 1 on quantifier comprehension and production tasks.
Method: Two low socioeconomic groups of L1 isiXhosa learners with either isiXhosa or English as language of learning and teaching (LOLT) were tested in February and November of their Grade 1 year with tasks targeting several quantifiers.
Results: The isiXhosa LOLT group comprehended no/none, any and all fully either in February or then in November of Grade 1, and they produced all assessed quantifiers in February of Grade 1. For the English LOLT group, neither the comprehension nor the production of quantifiers was mastered by the end of Grade 1, although there was a significant increase in both their comprehension and production scores.
Conclusion: The English LOLT group made significant progress in comprehension and production of quantifiers, but still performed worse than peers who had their L1 as LOLT. Generally, children with no or very little prior knowledge of the LOLT need either, (1) more deliberate exposure to quantifier-rich language or, (2) longer exposure to general classroom language before quantifiers can be expected to be mastered sufficiently to allow access to quantifier-related curriculum content.
Speech processing and production in two-year-old children acquiring isiXhosa : a tale of two children : original researchSource: South African Journal of Communication Disorders 63, pp 1 –15 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v63i2.134More Less
We investigated the speech processing and production of 2-year-old children acquiring isiXhosa in South Africa. Two children (2 years, 5 months; 2 years, 8 months) are presented as single cases. Speech input processing, stored phonological knowledge and speech output are described, based on data from auditory discrimination, naming, and repetition tasks. Both children were approximating adult levels of accuracy in their speech output, although naming was constrained by vocabulary. Performance across tasks was variable: One child showed a relative strength with repetition, and experienced most difficulties with auditory discrimination. The other performed equally well in naming and repetition, and obtained 100% for her auditory task. There is limited data regarding typical development of isiXhosa, and the focus has mainly been on speech production. This exploratory study describes typical development of isiXhosa using a variety of tasks understood within a psycholinguistic framework. We describe some ways in which speech and language therapists can devise and carry out assessment with children in situations where few formal assessments exist, and also detail the challenges of such work.
Source: South African Journal of Communication Disorders 63, pp 1 –3 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v63i2.167More Less
It is with this special issue that we hope to advertise the important research that is conducted locally and yet within a global framework. This special issue seeks not only to create awareness of the current work but also to highlight the challenges faced by a multilingual South Africa. This is the beginning of several special issues that will soon tackle bilingualism and multilingualism in order to improve the literacy levels of young South Africans. This special issue also seeks to highlight the need for interdisciplinary work by linguists and language practitioners to find solutions. In this special issue, we showcase some of the most recent research on South African language acquisition.