Giving the crucial information: performance on a referential communication task in Swedish children with language impairment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The study focused on the performance of a group of Swedish children with language impairment (LI) on a referential communication task as a step in the investigation of their pragmatic skills. The task entailed choosing a single card from a selection of 16 depicting a face and describing it well enough for the opponent in order for him/her to pick the correct one from his/her identical array of cards laid out behind a barrier. To give an adequate description, the player had to understand that four dimensions had to be described in order for the other person to choose the correct card. The participating children had been part of a previous study on narrative skills in children with LI. A few of them with rather poor language comprehension had shown utterances during story generation judged to be irrelevant to both the listener and the task. In the present study, language comprehension did not significantly correlate to performance on the referential communication task. The participants performed at the level of their peers without LI and there was no significant difference between the amount of relevant or irrelevant information when the children with LI interacted with an adult or with a friend. The results are discussed in relation to recent research.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified


  • Referential, Communication, Task, Language, Comprehension, Adult, Or, Peer
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-445
JournalInternational Journal of Language & Communication Disorders
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Publication categoryResearch