"Cross-Linguistic Cognate Production in Spanish–English Bilingual Children With and Without Specific Language Impairment"
Professor Elizabeth Peña has published with colleagues in the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research: "Cross-Linguistic Cognate Production in Spanish–English Bilingual Children With and Without Specific Language Impairment."
Bilinguals tend to produce cognates (e.g., telephone in English and teléfono in Spanish) more accurately than they produce noncognates (table/mesa). We tested whether the same holds for bilingual children with specific language impairment (SLI). Participants included Spanish–English bilingual children (aged 5;0 to 9;11 [years;months]), 25 with SLI and 92 without, who had comparable language experience. Cognate and noncognate items were taken from English and Spanish versions of the Expressive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test (Brownell, 2000, 2001). Although bilingual children with language impairment named fewer items correctly overall, they accurately named cognates more often than noncognates, as did typically developing children. Independent of language ability, accurate naming of a cognate in one language strongly predicted accurate naming in the other language. Language impairment appears unrelated to the mechanism that produces a cognate advantage in naming accuracy. Given that correct performance for a difficult word in one language is associated with knowing its cognate in another, cognates may be particularly viable targets for language intervention in bilingual children with SLI.
Grasso, S. M., Peña, E. D., Bedore, J., Hixon, J. G., & Griffin, Z. M. (February 2918). Cross-Linguistic Cognate Production in Spanish–English Bilingual Children With and Without Specific Language Impairment. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-16-0421