Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders


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JSLHR Papers in Press. Published July 27, 2009, as doi: 10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0047) The final version is at Copyright 2009 by American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Used by permission.


Purpose. Conceptual and methodological confounds occur when non(sense) repetition tasks are administered to speakers who do not have the target speech sounds in their phonetic inventories or who habitually misarticulate targeted speech sounds. We describe a nonword repetition task, the Syllable Repetiton Task (SRT) that eliminates this confound and report findings from three validity studies.
Method. Ninety-five preschool children with Speech Delay and 63 with Typical Speech, completed an assessment battery that included the Nonword Repetition Task (NRT: Dollaghan & Campbell, 1998) and the SRT. SRT stimuli include only four of the earliest occurring consonants and one early occurring vowel.
Results. Study 1 findings indicated that the SRT eliminated the speech confound in nonword testing with speakers who misarticulate. Study 2 findings indicated that the accuracy of the SRT to identify expressive language impairment was comparable to findings for the NRT. Study 3 findings illustrated the SRT’s potential to interrogate speech processing constraints underlying poor nonword repetition accuracy. Results supported both memorial and auditory-perceptual encoding constraints underlying nonword repetition errors in children with speech-language impairment.
Conclusion. The SRT appears to be a psychometrically stable and substantively informative nonword repetition task for emerging genetic and other research with speakers who misarticulate.