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English or Spanish Science Language Articles.
Evaluating the discriminant accuracy of a grammatical measure with Spanish-speaking children.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the discriminant accuracy of a grammatical measure for the identification of language impairment in Latino Spanish-speaking children. The authors hypothesized that if exposure to and use of English as a second language have an effect on the first language, bilingual children might exhibit lower rates of grammatical accuracy than their peers and be more likely to be misclassified. METHOD: Eighty children with typical language development and 80 with language impairment were sampled from 4 different geographical regions and compared using linear discriminant function analysis. RESULTS: Results indicated fair-to-good sensitivity from 4;0 to 5;1 years, good sensitivity from 5;2 to 5;11 years, and poor sensitivity above age 6 years. The discriminant functions derived from the exploratory studies were able to predict group membership in confirmatory analyses with fair-to-excellent sensitivity up to age 6 years. Children who were bilingual did not show lower scores and were not more likely to be misclassified compared with their Spanish-only peers. CONCLUSIONS: The measure seems to be appropriate for identifying language impairment in either Spanish-dominant or Spanish-only speakers between 4 and 6 years of age. However, for older children, supplemental testing is necessary. JSLHR.
Speech comprehension assessed by electroencephalography: a new method using m-sequence modulation.
Electroencephalograms (EEGs) were recorded from eight Japanese speakers while they listened to Japanese and Spanish sentences (approximately 51s each). The sentences were modulated in amplitude by a binary m-sequence and played forward or backward. A circular cross-correlation function was computed between the EEG signals and the m-sequence and averaged across subjects. Independent component analysis of the averaged function revealed a component source response which was obtained only for the comprehensible Japanese and not for the incomprehensible sentences. The present study has thus shown that a 1-min long EEG signal is sufficient for the assessment of speech comprehension. NR.
The origins of language: an analysis from the aphasia perspective.
INTRODUCTION: Different areas of knowledge have contributed to a better understanding of the origins of human language. AIM. To relate our current knowledge about the origins of language with the language pathology found in the case of brain injuries (aphasia). DEVELOPMENT: There are two fundamental forms of aphasia, which linked to defects in the lexico-semantic and grammatical systems of language (Wernicke-type aphasia and Broca-type aphasia, respectively). From observations made on children's development of language and experiments with primates, it has been shown that language initially appears as a lexico-semantic system. Grammar correlates with the ability to represent actions (verbs) and depends on what is known as Broca's area and its related brain circuits, but it is also related to the ability to quickly carry out the sequencing of the articulatory movements required for speaking (speech praxis). CONCLUSIONS: Language may have appeared as a lexico-semantic system much earlier than language as a syntactic system. The former may have developed around 200,000-300,000 years ago, coinciding with the increase in the temporal lobe, and would have existed in other hominids. Language as a grammatical system appeared perhaps as recently as 50,000 years ago and seems to be exclusive to Homo sapiens.