Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis


Communication Sciences & Disorders

First Advisor

Sofia Souto


Children with specific language impairment (SLI) are notorious for inconsistent use of grammatical morphemes, as well as a small vocabulary. This lack of vocabulary is linked to their difficulty in learning new words, which requires a strong phonological memory. Tasks of nonword repetition call upon this same skill. This overlap in skills suggests a strong relationship between the two tasks. The current study explores the relationship between nonword repetition performance and novel word learning abilities in preschool-aged children with SLI as compared to their typically developing (TD) age-matched peers. Nine children with SLI and nine TD children completed a nonword repetition test (NRT) and a novel word learning task. Analysis of the relationship between the two tasks revealed few significant meaningful correlations for TD children and no significant correlations for those with SLI. The findings suggest that tasks of nonword repetition and encoding in word learning may not be tapping into the same mechanism, and that the relationship between the two is not as strong as first assumed.