Insensitivity to verb conjugation patterns in French children with SLI

Phaedra Royle, Ariane St-Denis, Patrizia Mazzocca, Alexandra Marquis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Specific language impairment (SLI) is characterised by persistent difficulties that affect language abilities in otherwise normally developing children (Leonard, 2014). It remains challenging to identify young children affected by SLI in French. We tested oral production of the passé composé tense in 19 children in kindergarten and first grade with SLI aged from 5;6 to 7;4 years. All children were schooled in a French environment, but with different linguistic backgrounds. We used an Android application, Jeu de verbes (Marquis et al., 2012), with six verbs in each of four past participle categories (ending in -é, -i, -u, and other irregulars). We compared their results and error types to those of control children (from Marquis, 2012–2014) matched for gender, age, languages spoken at home, and parental education. Results show that children with SLI do not master the passé composé in the same way as typical French children do, at later ages than previously shown in the literature. This task shows potential for oral language screening in French-speaking children in kindergarten and first grade, independently of language background.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-147
Number of pages20
JournalClinical Linguistics and Phonetics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Conjugation groups
  • French
  • morphology
  • specific language impairment
  • verbs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


Dive into the research topics of 'Insensitivity to verb conjugation patterns in French children with SLI'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this