Language Development in Normal Children and in Disease – An Interactional Approach to Typical Language Development and Children with Language Impairment



The aim of the present chapter is to give an account of an interactional perspective on language development of typical children as well as of children in disease, more specifically children with language impairment (LI). The chapter presents three important theoretical frameworks for child language development: nativism, connectionism, and interactionism. This is followed by an overview of the commonly accepted stepwise progression in the development of language in children and a presentation of the characteristics and etiology of LI. An interactional perspective is brought to the fore, particularly focusing on aspects of child–adult interaction in everyday and clinical contexts. It is claimed that language acquisition ought to comprise not only features of vocabulary and grammar development but also the subtleties of human social interaction. It is argued that to become and be perceived as a competent participant in social interaction requires the development of interactional skills such as learning and adapting to turn-taking patterns, acquiring an interactional behavior adequate for specific social activities, and participation frameworks. The opportunities for doing so are often more limited for children with LI than for children with typical language development, which in turn may have a negative effect on the developmental potential in children with LI.


Language Development Language Impairment Interactional Perspective Linguistic Input Stepwise Progression 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Child with typical language development


Conversation analysis


Child with language impairment


The International Classifications of Diseases and Related Health Problems


Language impairment


Speech and language pathologist



The report on analyses of SLP–child interaction (Plejert and Samuelsson, 2008) is part of a research project funded by the Swedish Research Council (VR 2005-1361).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Culture and CommunicationLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden
  2. 2.Division of Speech Language Pathology, Department of Experimental MedicineLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden

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