(IICLLHawaii2016) - #20277 - A morphosyntactic profile of atypically-developing children speaking Bangla (Bengali) is unavailable which affects the intervention-related services. The paper examines the morphosyntactic development of a group of children with Language Impairment (LI) (N= 9; Age 3;11- 9;4 years) in comparison with a morphological profile previously derived from a larger group (N= 64, Age 1;11- 4;3) of typically-developing (TD) Bangla-speaking children. Motivated by previous research indicating that verb morphology is of particular challenges to children with LI (Leonard, 2014; Rice & Wexler, 1996), the inflectional markers tested in the present study were the tense and the aspect markers involved in the Present Simple, the Present Progressive, and the Past Progressive forms of verbs in Bangla. Three experimental tasks were administered, and a 20-minute spontaneous language sample was collected from each child. The results revealed that, although there were notable similarities between the TD and the LI groups with regard to the developmental sequences and the error patterns, the children with LI were significantly different from the TD group in their accuracy rates. A Discriminant Function Analysis found that, while some LI children had developmental patterns similar to those displayed by the younger TD children, a sub-group of children with LI had distinct profiles not shared by the TD children.
The present study is considered to be the first to explore atypical first language development in Bangla. Future investigations need to expand the findings to build more comprehensive profiles of a range of atypical developments in Bangla.