Students with language/learning impairment (LLI) and three groups of normally achieving children matched for chronological age, spoken language, and reading abilities wrote and told stories that were analyzed according to a three-dimensional language analysis system. Spoken narratives were linguistically superior to written narratives in many respects. The content of written narratives, however, was organized differently than the content of spoken narratives. Spoken narratives contained more local interconnections than global interconnections; the opposite was true for written narratives. LLI and reading-matched children evidenced speaking-writing relationships that differed from those of the age- and language-matched children in the way language form was organized. Further, LLI children produced more grammatically unacceptable complex T-units in their spoken and written stories than students from any of the three matched groups. The discussion focuses on mechanisms underlying the development of speaking-writing differences and ramifications of spoken-language impairment for spoken and written-language relationships.
KEY WORDS: speaking, writing, narratives, school-age children, language impaired
Submitted on September 16, 1991
Accepted on March 6, 1992