First Advisor

Carolyn Quam

Date of Award

Spring 6-16-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Speech and Hearing Sciences and University Honors


Speech and Hearing Sciences




Language Learning Disability (LLD), category learning, implicit, explicit, language learning, second language learning




This study evaluates the impact of memory skills (procedural, declarative, and working) and sound discrimination abilities, on the ability of adults with and without Language Learning Disability (LLD) to learn two sound-category structures, one designed to be learned implicitly and the other designed to be learned explicitly. This design tests a theorized etiology for LLD, the Procedural Deficit Hypothesis (PDH), which posits that LLD is caused by selective impairments to procedural memory and implicit learning. It also serves to evaluate factors and conditions that contribute to success in second-language learning for adults, who are less neurologically suited to the task of language learning than children.


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