Language deficits in dyslexic children: speech perception, phonology, and morphology.J Exp Child Psychol. 2000 Sep; 77(1):30-60.JE
We investigated the relationship between dyslexia and three aspects of language: speech perception, phonology, and morphology. Reading and language tasks were administered to dyslexics aged 8-9 years and to two normal reader groups (age-matched and reading-level matched). Three dyslexic groups were identified: phonological dyslexics (PD), developmentally language impaired (LI), and globally delayed (delay-type dyslexics). The LI and PD groups exhibited similar patterns of reading impairment, attributed to low phonological skills. However, only the LI group showed clear speech perception deficits, suggesting that such deficits affect only a subset of dyslexics. Results also indicated phonological impairments in children whose speech perception was normal. Both the LI and the PD groups showed inflectional morphology difficulties, with the impairment being more severe in the LI group. The delay group's reading and language skills closely matched those of younger normal readers, suggesting these children had a general delay in reading and language skills, rather than a specific phonological impairment. The results are discussed in terms of models of word recognition and dyslexia.