Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Frances E. Lohr

Second Advisor

Mrs. Sandra Glista

Third Advisor

Mr. Ronald Kelley

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


In this investigation, no difference in the overall complexity of verbs produced in spontaneous speech existed between adults and children with primarily expressive language disorders. Six adults, four males and two females between 37;1 and 68;7 years of age, and eight children, five males and three females between 4;3 and 8;3 years of age, comprised the subjects. Each had essentially intact receptive language skills, but was deficient in expressive language abilities. None evidenced a history of hearing, mental or emotional deficits.

Spontaneous language samples elicited from each subject were scored using the Developmental Sentence Scoring (DSS) procedure (Lee, 1974). Marginal, but inconclusive, evidence of a difference between the mean DSS values of the two groups was found, t(12) = -2.05 p> .05; however, no differences in overall verb complexity were noted, t(12) = 1.57 from the data; t(12) = 1.78, P=.10 from the tables. Interestingly, the DSS values and overall verb complexity levels were relatively highly correlated, r= .53. In addition, no differences between the two groups in percent-ages of verbs produced correctly were observed, t(12) = -.47; P>> .2.