First Advisor

Rhea Paul

Term of Graduation

Fall 1995

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

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


Speech Communication




Children -- Language



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, vi, 56 pages)


Predicting language outcomes in children who at age two are "late talkers" is a concern of Speech Language Pathologists. Currently, there is no conclusive data allowing specialists to predict which children will outgrow their delays and which children will not. The purpose of the present study is to analyze the effect of a receptive language delay on the outcome of the slow expressive language delayed child, and determine whether or not it is a viable predictor of poor outcomes.

The subject information used in this project was compiled from the data collected and reported by Paul (1991) during the Portland Language Development Project (PLDP). Children in the PLDP first participated in the longitudinal study between the ages of twenty to thirty-four months. They were categorized as being slow in expressive language development if they produced fewer that fifty intelligible words during this age range. They were then subgrouped into an expressive-receptive delayed group if they scored more than one standard deviation below the mean on the Reynell Developmental Language Scales. Of the twenty-five subjects with complete data over the five years of the study, nineteen were considered to be solely expressively delayed, while the remaining six were classified as having both an expressive and a receptive language delay.

Lee's Developmental Sentence Scoring (DSS) (1974) was used to track the subject's expressive language abilities to the age of seven. DSS scores were analyzed yearly, using the Mann-Whitney nonparametric statistical test. This would determine whether the subjects considered to be both expressively and receptively delayed were exhibiting more difficulties in their expressive language abilities than those subjects with expressive delays alone.

The results of the study indicated that significant differences did not exist between the two groups. Therefore, there was insufficient evidence to conclude that a receptive language delay at twenty to thirty-four months of age is a feasible predictor of lasting expressive language delays. This leads to the recommendation that additional research be conducted focusing on areas other than receptive language abilities as being predictors of poor expressive language outcomes.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).


If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.

Persistent Identifier