[en] Background. This study investigated the relationship between phonological and syntactic disorders of French-speaking children with SLI in production.
Aims. This article compares three theories (pure phonological theory, surface theory and mapping theory) of language developmental disorders, all of which view phonological difficulties as the main reason for the children’s problems.
Methods and procedures. The linguistic parameters (salience, phonological complexity, syntactic complexity, lexical/functional, semantic/syntactic) (that are fundamental) to these theories were identified. The validity of these parameters was then tested against the phonological and syntactic results obtained by children with SLI and control children. Nine syntactic categories were tested.
Outcomes and results. Phonological complexity was the only parameter whose importance was confirmed, and this was only for phonological results. Syntactic complexity did not correlate significantly with children’s difficulties, and the importance of phonological salience was not confirmed for French-speaking children. Mixed results were obtained for the other parameters, including negative correlations, which may call for different explanations.
Conclusions. No theory fully explained the observed outcomes. Pure phonological theory was the most parsimonious, but could not explain all the results.