Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)


Communicative Disorders

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Kerry Proctor-Williams

Committee Members

Teresa Boggs, Brenda Louw


This study seeks to: (1) determine if differences exist between children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) compared to age-matched (AM) and language- matched (LM) children with typical language development (TL) in rates and proportions of five types of metalinguistic productions and (2) test theories of metalinguistic production. Forty-five children, 24 with TL and 21 with SLI, paired for age or language level, formed two groups. Previously collected data from two studies of verb learning (Proctor-Williams & Fey, 2007; Proctor- Williams, unpublished) were analyzed for rates and types of metalinguistic productions. Results yielded no within or between group significant differences in the rates types. There were differences in proportional use of types of metalinguistic utterances in the LM group. This study showed that children as young as 3;0 produce metalinguistic utterances. Further, it disproved the Piagetian-Based Metalinguistic Development Theory. Interesting trends suggest direction for future research.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.