Profiling Grammar

This February we published Profiling Grammar edited by Paul Fletcher, Martin J. Ball and David Crystal. In this post the editors explain more about the grammatical profiles used in the book.

Profiling GrammarThe clue is in the title. In this volume, as well as its companion published four years ago, the ultimate goal of every chapter – each on a different language – is to capture the significant features of pre-school children’s grammatical development and portray them on a single page.

The model for the grammatical profiles of the various languages featured in the book is a profile for English developed over three decades ago at the University of Reading. This was given the acronym LARSP, standing for Language Assessment, Remediation and Screening Procedure. Subsequent extensions to other languages have echoed this in the labels given to the new profiles – HARSP for Hebrew, HU-LARSP for Hungarian and ILARSP for Irish, for example.

As the original acronym indicates, the summaries of grammatical development outlined in a profile are intended to have a practical application. They serve as templates against which the progress of children suspected of language delay or impairment can be evaluated. (They have also been used to assess the grammar of adult aphasics, as is the case for the chapter on Bulgarian in this book). Profiles also provide a pathway for intervention if deficits are identified. They are designed primarily for use by speech and language therapists.

The twelve new profiles in this volume, covering languages of Africa (Afrikaans), India (Hindi and Kannada), Malaysia (Malay) and the Far East (Cantonese, Japanese, Korean), as well as Europe (Bulgarian, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Swedish), augment the twelve featured in a companion volume published in 2012. Each chapter provides a grammatical sketch of the language, a discursive account of grammatical development in typically developing children, a description of the profile, and in most cases the application of the profile to the language of a child with impairment. The languages featured are typologically various, and it will be fascinating for readers to see how authors come to terms with the issues posed by the grammatical characteristics of their language, within the constraints of the profile approach.

A third volume is in preparation.

Paul Fletcher, Martin Ball and David Crystal

Assessing GrammarFor further information about this book please see our website. If you found this interesting, you might also like the previous volume Assessing Grammar.

Communication Disorders Across Languages

As we’re just about to publish the 10th book in the Communication Disorders Across Languages series, Deirdre Martin’s Researching Dyslexia in Multilingual Settings, we asked the series editors Martin Ball and Nicole Müller to tell us a bit about how the series started and how it’s developed.

Our series was founded due to a coincidence. The coincidence was that we were at the same conference as Mike and Marjukka Grover ten years ago: the 4th International Symposium on Bilingualism, at Arizona State University, Tempe, in 2003. We had both been involved with work in multilingualism but were earning our livings as clinical linguists and, in discussions with Mike and Marjukka, we came to realize that the intersection between these two fields really needed more attention; indeed, it needed a book series! As it’s now ten years since those initial discussions, and we are about to publish the tenth book in the series, now would seem to be a good time for a retrospective.

Communication Disorders in Spanish SpeakersFrom the outset we envisioned two main themes for the series that would result in books with two different approaches. One theme would involve studies of particular geographical areas and/or languages and explore what speech and language pathology resources and research were available for the multilingual population of that area or speakers of that language. As an example, our very first volume was devoted to Spanish speakers (both in Europe and the New World): Communication Disorders in Spanish Speakers: Theoretical, Research and Clinical Aspects edited by José G. Centeno, Raquel T. Anderson and Loraine K. Obler in 2007. This book was timely, as the increasing number of Spanish speakers, or bilingual Spanish-English speakers in the US has highlighted the paucity of speech language therapy services through the medium of Spanish. The book aims to contribute to evidence-based clinical procedures for monolingual Spanish and bilingual Spanish-English children and adults with communication disorders, and was one of the first to appear in this area.

Multilingual Aspects of Fluency DisordersOther books in the series that followed this path are Research in Logopedics: Speech and Language Therapy in Finland, edited by Anu Klippi and Kaisa Launonen in 2008; Language Disorders in Speakers of Chinese, edited by Sam-Po Law, Brendan Weekes and Anita M.-Y. Wong also in 2008; and Communication Disorders in Turkish, edited by Seyhun Topbaş and Mehmet Yavaş, published in 2010. There are still potentially fascinating areas to explore in this part of the series, and we hope one day to commission volumes dealing with, for example, South Africa, India, and Russia.

Multilingual Aspects of Speech Sound Disorders in ChildrenThe second theme takes a specific area within the field of communication disorders and examines multilingual and crosslinguistic aspects of that area. In the beginning we envisioned a dozen or so such areas from developmental speech and language disorders through to acquired neurogenic impairments. So far, six books have appeared following this theme. The first was Multilingual Aspects of Fluency Disorders, edited by Peter Howell & John Van Borsel, 2011: the first volume to examine stuttering and related fluency impairments from a multilingual viewpoint. This collection has been followed by books on children’s speech disorders, aphasia, voice disorders, and – most recently – literacy. Sharynne McLeod and Brian Goldstein edited Multilingual Aspects of Speech Sound Disorders in Children which appeared in 2012; later in 2012 was published Aspects of Multilingual Aphasia, edited by Martin Gitterman, Mira Goral and Loraine Obler. This was followed in early 2013 by International Perspectives on Voice Disorders, with Edwin Yiu as editor. Our most recent volume is Researching Dyslexia in Multilingual Settings, edited by Deirdre Martin. Volumes on Sign Language, child language disorders, and motor speech disorders are also in preparation, with still other areas at the planning stage (e.g. traumatic brain injury, and specific language impairment).

Interestingly, as the series has developed, a third theme has emerged: assessment and multilingualism. This theme covers both the provision of assessment materials in a range of languages (many of which have had little in the way of communicative disorders assessment provision in the past), and the assessment of multilingual clients. The first book in this theme was Assessing Grammar: The Languages of LARSP, edited by Martin Ball, David Crystal and Paul Fletcher, which extended the LARSP grammatical analysis profile to 12 languages other than English. Future volumes are planned that will cover up to another 40 languages. Another collection within this theme is in an advanced state of preparation; its working title is Methods for Assessing Multilingual Children: Disentangling Bilingualism from Language Impairment, and is being edited by Sharon Armon-Lotem, Jan de Jong and Natalia Meir. We hope to encourage further submissions within this theme.

What of the future? As noted, we have already commissioned further books for the series, and several of these are near completion so we hope that the series will continue to grow and provide essential resources for researchers and practitioners.

Martin J. Ball and Nicole Müller
Series editors, Communication Disorders Across Languages

Communication Disorders Across Languages

International Perspectives on Voice DisordersOur Communication Disorders Across Languages series covers all aspects of speech and communication disorders focusing both on specific languages (such as Finnish, Spanish, Turkish, Chinese) and also on the multilingual aspects of voice disorders, aphasia and other speech sound disorders.

The latest book in this series, International Perspectives on Voice Disorders edited by Edwin M-L. Yiu, comes out this week and provides a state-of-the-art account of voice research and issues in clinical voice practice. This book is the first of its kind bringing together cutting-edge research and clinic-based practice.

Robert T. Sataloff, M.D., of Drexel University College of Medicine, USA, calls the book “an exceptional compendium of insights and opinions provided by voice experts from around the world.” He claims that it “provides a unique vision of current concepts in voice care and research, as well as guidance on questions that require future study.”

The series is edited by Nicole Müller and Martin Ball who are based at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and are both experts in communication disorders and multilingualism and who assess each book as it comes in.

This latest book is the 9th volume in the series and you can see the list of all books in the series below:

Books on general aspects of language disorders:
Multilingual Aspects of Speech Sound Disorders in Children edited by Sharynne McLeod and Brian Goldstein
Multilingual Aspects of Fluency Disorders edited by Peter Howell and John Van Borsel
Assessing Grammar edited by Martin Ball, David Crystal and Paul Fletcher
Aspects of Multilingual Aphasia edited by Martin R. Gitterman, Mira Goral and Loraine K. Obler

Books on language disorders in specific languages:
Communication Disorders in Turkish edited by Seyhun Topbaş and Mehmet Yavaş
Language Disorders in Speakers of Chinese edited by Sam-Po Law, Brendan Weekes and Anita M-Y Wong
Research in Logopedics edited by Anu Klippi and Kaisa Launonen
Communication Disorders in Spanish Speakers edited by José G. Centeno, Raquel T. Anderson and Loraine K. Obler

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