Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences


Speech Pathology and Audiology

First Advisor

Dr. John Buelke

Second Advisor

Dr. Charles Van Riper

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Chapter I

Background of the Problem

Introduction. The term language as used in this thesis refers to the complex symbolic processes of speaking, reading, and writing. Speech is the primary process of language. Reading and writing are secondary processes formed by written symbols which reflect the primary symbols of speech. Due to the integral relationship of these elements, a facility or disability in one might affect the others. If this is true, then it might also be possible that one currently existing factor could affect the entire area of language including any, or all, of the interrelated processes. It is the purpose of this thesis to investigate a syndrome believed to be of this nature. It is usually designated by the term specific language disability. Specifically stated, the problem was to determine whether or not specific language disability is a factor related to clinical failure in public school speech therapy.

A justification of this problem is primarily based on the validity of the concepts stated above. Therefore, it is essential to review the existing literature relative to the integral relationship among the elements of language and to the specific syndrome of specific language disability.