Conversation versus narration in pre-school children with language impairment

Christina Reuterskiöld Wagner, U. Nettelbladt, B. Sahlén, C. Nilholm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study focuses on two elicitation methods for language sampling in children with language impairment: conversion and narration. It has been noted in other studies on different clinical groups that language elicited in different speaking contexts varies in aspects such as MLU, fluency and syntactic complexity. The purpose of this study was to compare genre effects on different aspects of language production in a group of pre-school children with language impairment. The results show that there are differences in language production during conversation compared with narration. Intelligibility and fluency were found to be higher in conversation than in narration, whereas MLU in words was higher in narration. The narrative task elicited more phrasal expansions and grammatical morphemes per utterance than the conversation. However, the children used more complex verb forms in conversation than in narration. The results are discussed in relation to recent research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-93
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Language and Communication Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000


  • Genre effects
  • Grammatical structure
  • Language impairment
  • Language production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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