Processing prosodic structure by adults with language-based learning disability

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Two experiments investigated the ability of adults with a history of language-based learning disability (hLLD) and their normal language (NL) peers to learn prosodic patterns of a novel language. Participants were exposed to stimuli from an artificial language and tested on items that required generalization of the stress patterns and the hierarchical principles of stress assignment that could be inferred from the input. In Study 1, the NL group successfully generalized the patterns of stress heard during familiarization, but failed to show generalization of the hierarchical principles. The hLLD group performed at chance for both types of generalization items. In Study 2, the intensity of stress elements was increased. The performance of the NL group improved whereas the hLLD groups' performance decreased on both types of generalization items. The results indicate that NL adults are able to successfully abstract the complex hierarchical rules of stress if the prosodic cues are made sufficiently salient, but this same task is difficult for adults with hLLD. Learning outcomes: The reader will be able to understand: (1) the difference in the ability of hLLD and NL adults to process stress assignment in an implicit learning context and (2) that typical adults can abstract complex hierarchical rules of stress assignment when provided with strong cues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-323
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Communication Disorders
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN


Dive into the research topics of 'Processing prosodic structure by adults with language-based learning disability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this