1st Student's Major

Speech, Hearing, and Rehabilitation Services

1st Student's College

Allied Health and Nursing

Students' Professional Biography

Maureen Boyle is a student in the Speech, Hearing and Rehabilitation Services Department at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Mentor's Name

Patricia Hargrove

Mentor's Department

Speech, Hearing, and Rehabilitation Services

Mentor's College

Allied Health and Nursing


Literature claims individuals with Williams syndrome (WS), a rare congenital genetic mental retardation syndrome, easily engage in conversation and demonstrate unique and advanced linguistic skills compared to typically developing peers (TDP). These claims are supported by limited empirical evidence, however. One method of judging advanced linguistic skills is to compare the production of complex/compound sentences of children with WS and their TDP. The purpose of the study was to determine whether children with WS use more complex/compound sentences than children who are typically developing. Twelve subjects participated in the study. Six subjects with WS (SWS), mean age 15, and 6 subjects who are typically developing, mean age 6-4. Subjects were matched according to gender and verbal performance. Two judges evaluated 100 utterances (oral statements) from each of the12 subjects and determined the sentence type of each utterance. Compound, complex and complex/compound sentences were coded. Data were analyzed employing Systematic Analysis of Language Transcripts (SALT), a set of computer programs designed to analyze and interpret language samples. The range, mean and standard deviation for each sentence type were computed. Results indicate TDP display a greater number of complex, compound and complex/compound sentences compared to SWS. Implications are discussed.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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