First Advisor

Joan McMahon

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech with Emphasis in Speech Pathology


Speech Communication


Children -- Language -- Testing



Physical Description

1 online resource (60 p.)


In 1971, Lee and Canter developed a systematic tool for assessing children's expressive language: Developmental Sentence Scoring (DSS). It provides normative data against which a child's delayed or disordered language development can be compared with the normal language of children the same age. A specific scoring system is used to analyze children's use of standard English grammatical rules from a tape-recorded sample of their spontaneous speech during conversation with a clinician.

The corpus of sentences for the DSS is obtained from a sample of 50 complete, different, consecutive, intelligible, non-echolalic sentences elicited from a child in conversation with an adult using stimulus materials in which the child is interested. There is limited research on the reliability of language samples smaller and larger than 50 utterances for DSS analysis.

The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a significant difference among the scores obtained from language samples of 25, 50, and 75 utterances when using the DSS procedure for children aged 6.0 to 6.6 years. Twelve children, selected on the basis of chronological age, normal receptive vocabulary skills, normal hearing, and a monolingual background, were chosen as subjects.


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