Academic journal article Journal of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies

Validation Study of a Morphological Assessment Tool for the Romanian Speaking Population

Academic journal article Journal of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies

Validation Study of a Morphological Assessment Tool for the Romanian Speaking Population

Article excerpt

Psycho-pedagogical Considerations on the Development of the Morphological Competence

As of 2003, the Romanian curricular reform, also touching upon the Romanian Language and Literature curriculum, has provided a new model for content structuring, based upon the Communication competence (Hymes, 1971; Pamfil, 2003). The therapy programs pertaining to language and communication follow the same model (Hymes, 1971) since 2008. Given these premises, this study will focus on a single component of this field, namely the morphological one (Berko, 1958; Bachman, 1990; Feldman, 1994; Bishop, Bright, James, Bishop, & Van Der Lely, 2000; Baayen & Schreuder, 2003; Frost, Grainger, & Rastle, 2005; Templeton, 2012; Gabig, & Zaretsky, 2013).

Highlighting the morphological component of the Romanian language can be achieved through the analysis of its structural and functional unit - the morpheme. The term 'morpheme' has been introduced in Linguistics around 1880, and has been defined as "a minimal sequence of sounds bearing meaning" (Neam^u, 2013). Together with the term 'word', this is a fundamental concept in morphology. The morpheme is therefore considered to be a minimal expression unit bearing (lexical and grammatical) significance. Under these circumstances, the morpheme is the first linguistic sign per se (characterized by unity of both expression and content) (Irimia, 2008; Neam^u, 2013).

The training and the stimulation of this linguistic component are done for Romanian speakers through a series of intervention methods and techniques, designed to address the deficit at the level of structuring morphological abilities and transmitting new knowledge in this field. We would like to highlight at this point the fact that Romanian research literature has emphasized the fact that the morpho-syntactic level of the language is structured when the child enters the first grade, from the ante- preschool and preschool stage, further developing quantitatively and qualitatively in the stage of primary school (§chiopu, Verza, 1997; Ha^egan, 2011). Taking into account the afore-mentioned methods and techniques, the lack of validated and standardized tools for investigating morphology-related issues in the psycho-pedagogical area of the Romanian language becomes obvious. This absence becomes even clearer against the large quantity of important assessment tools available internationally (Bishop, Norbury, & Briscoe, 2002; Bishop, 2003; Shapiro, Caramazza, 2003; Beverly, & Goodnoh, 2004; Bishop, Adams, & Rosen, 2006; Bi, Han, Shu, & Caramazza, 2007; Paul, 2007; Goodwin, Huggins, Carlo, Malabonga, Kenyon, Louguit, & August, 2012; Gabig, & Zaretsky, 2013). The most well know morphological assessment tools used are: MLU (Mean Length of Utterance, an assessment tool used in order to establish verbal production complexity) (Brown, 1973), TROG (Test for Reception of Grammar-an assessment tool focused on language comprehension at morphological level) (Bishop, 2003), ECOSSE (- the French variant of TROG) (Lecocq, Leuwers, Casalis, & Watteau, 1996), LARSP (The Language Assessment, Remediation and Screening Procedure- a well known test focused on emphasizing the grammatical ability profile and on proposing a future remediation program, if necessary) (Crystal, Fletcher, Garman, 1976).

This research can contribute to the enrichment of the field, by focusing on specific Romanian grammatical aspects; these grammatical aspects are easily transferred, especially into other Latin languages.

The importance of the morphological competence is primarily analyzed in connection with reading and writing abilities, from this perspective this research can be of great interest for those interested in learning disabilities field, providing new therapeutic approaches. Thus the stress is put on the predictive value of grammatical processing for learning disability diagnoses related to language structuring, with implications on the corrective and rehabilitation process. …

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