Subcategory learning in normal and language learning-disabled adults: How much information do they need?

Jessica Richardson, Laurel Harris, Elena Plante, Louann GerKen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this experiment was to determine if nonreferential morphophonological information was sufficient to facilitate the learning of gender subcategories (i.e., masculine vs. feminine) in individuals with normal language (NL) and those with a history of language-based learning disabilities (HLD). Method: Thirty-two adults listened for 18 min to a familiarization set of Russian words that included either 1 (single-marked) or 2 (double-marked) morphophonological markers indicating gender. Participants were then tested on their knowledge of both trained and untrained members of each gender subcategory. Results: Testing indicated that morphophonological information is sufficient for lexical subcategory learning in both NL and HLD groups, although the HLD group had lower overall accuracy. The HLD group benefited from double-marking relative to single-marking for subcategory learning. Conclusion: The results demonstrated that learning through implicit mechanisms occurred after a relatively brief xposure to the language stimuli. In addition, the weaker overall learning by the HLD group was facilitated when multiple cues to linguistic subcategory were available in the input group members received.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1257-1266
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006


  • Developmental language disorders
  • Language
  • Learning syntax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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