First Advisor

Mary E. Gordon

Term of Graduation

Spring 1975

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech Communication: Speech and Hearing Sciences


Speech Communication




People with mental disabilities -- Language, English language -- Inflection



Physical Description

1 online resource (4, v, 75 pages)


The purpose of this study was to investigate the development and use of certain grammatical morphemes, i.e., the English inflections for plural, possessive, present progressive and past tense in the speech of educable mentally retarded (EMR) adolescents. The performance on two grammatical tasks of EMR subjects was compared to that of normal control subjects matched by mental age scores. The first task was to produce, verbally, the required inflection for a novel (nonsense) word on a modified version of Berko's Test of English Morphology (BTEM). Secondly, subjects responded to grammatical contrasts in lexical or real words at levels of imitation, comprehension and production on a modified form of the Imitation, Comprehension and Production Test (ICP).

The results of this study revealed statistically significant poorer performance in the use of English inflections by EMR adolescents when compared with control subjects of similar mental age, specifically in the use of less common allomorphs for plural, possessive and past tense.


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A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Speech Communication with Emphasis in Speech Pathology/Audiology.

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