The current study sought to investigate whether word properties can facilitate the identification of developmental language disorder (DLD) in sequential bilinguals by analyzing properties in nouns and verbs in L2 spontaneous speech as potential DLD markers. Measures of semantic(imageability, concreteness), lexical (frequency, age of acquisition) and phonological properties (phonological neighbourhood, word length) were computed for nouns and verbs produced by 15 sequential bilinguals (5;7) with DLD and 15 age-matched controls with diverseL1 backgrounds. Linear mixed modelling revealed a significant interaction of group and word category on phonological neighbourhood values but no differences across imageability, concreteness, frequency, age of acquisition, and word length measures in spontaneous speech. Outcomes suggest that group-level differences may not be apparent at the word-level, due to the heterogeneous nature of DLD and potential similarities in production during early L2acquisition.
- developmental language disorder
- sequential bilingualism
- word properties
- spontaneous speech