Production of grammatical sentences in English-speaking children between age 3 and age 5: Evidence from a picture description task

Mary J. Wilson

Example of a picture "supermarket".

Example of a picture "supermarket".

Undergraduate Student Project


Grammatical deficits are a hallmark of children with language impairment (Leonard, 2014). An emerging line of research has focused on the extent to which grammatical measures that are computed from children's utterances in daily activities (i.e., language samples) can help clinicians correctly identify three-year-old children with language impairment (Eisenberg & Guo, 2013). One such measure is percent grammatical sentences. However, whether percent grammatical sentences could be used for differentiating older children with and without language impairment (e.g., four- and five-year-olds) has yet to be determined. The current project addresses this research need by examining whether children's ability to produce grammatical sentences (as measured by percent grammatical sentences) differs between age 3 and age 5. 


The study aims to investigate how well English-speaking children between age 3 and age 5 are able to produce grammatical sentences in a picture description task. Percent grammatical sentences will be computed. Changes in percent grammatical sentences across ages will be evaluated. Results may assist clinicians in assessing children's development of grammatical skills.

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