Specific language impairment

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Specific language impairment (SLI) is a developmental language disorder that can affect both expressive and receptive language. SLI is defined as a "pure" language impairment, meaning that is not related to or caused by other developmental disorders, hearing loss or acquired brain injury.

However, the term specific language impairment is typically used in research literature, while other equivalent terms include: language impairment, language disability, language disorder, language delay, and language deviance. All of these terms belie assumptions about the nature of normal development, and some have been dropped as new perspectives on language development arise.

An SLI therefore is a general marker meaning language disorder, and not a specific disorder or disease.

See also


  1. ^ Gopnik, M. and Goad, H. (1997) "What underlies inflectional error patterns in genetic dysphasia?" in Journal of Neurolinguistics Vol. 10, No. 2-3. pp. 109-137


  • Hoff, Erika (2005). Language Development (3rd ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth. ISBN 0-534-64170-9.
  • Shipley, Kenneth G. & McAfee, Julie G. (2004). Assessment in Speech-Language Pathology: A Resource Manual (3rd ed.). Clifton Park: Thomson. ISBN 1-4018-2751-9.

Leonard, L. (2000) Children with Specific Language Impairment. The MIT Press. Cambridge.

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