Language Samples From Visually Impaired Four and Five-Year Olds

Jane N. Erin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This paper presents an analysis of language samples from 12 children, including 4 blind, 4 sighted, and 4 children with low vision. The samples were generated as the children examined a set of household objects and talked about them with the investigator. Analysis of the samples focused on four areas: syntactic structures, pronoun usage, sentence types, and topic/content. With respect to syntactic structures, the mean length of utterance (ML U) and number of syntactic incongruities were examined. These indicated slightly greater complexity of utterances by the sighted group as compared to both visually impaired groups. Blind and low vision children also demonstrated a higher frequency of inappropriate pronoun use than the sighted group. Visually impaired students also used less variation in sentence types, employing a high frequency of repetitive forms, including questions. Finally, there were fewer instances of experiential narrative and imaginative play in the samples obtained from the visually impaired children. The samples suggested that a greater variation in the level of language maturity existed in the samples from these children. Related literature suggests that the altered environment of the visually impaired child may influence this outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-191
Number of pages11
JournalCommunication Disorders Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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