Lexicogrammatical skills in 2-year-old children with and without repaired cleft palate

Marziye Eshghi, Reuben Adatorwovor, John S. Preisser, Elizabeth R. Crais, David J. Zajac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of the current research was to compare the lexical–grammatical skills of two-year-old children with and without repaired cleft palate (CP), accounting for the effect of variables such as vocabulary size at 18 months of age, maternal education level, and gender. Participants included 52 children with CP and 25 typically developing (TD) children. The CDI-WS was employed to measure vocabulary and grammatical skills. Significant differences were observed between the CP and TD groups with respect to the number of words, word forms (irregular nouns and verbs), word endings (overuse of plural (-s) and past tense (-ed) markers), the mean number of morphemes in their three longest utterances (M3L), and sentence complexity. In addition, compared to TD children, significantly smaller proportions of children with CP were observed to use words to talk about past and future events or use words to talk about an absent object. The difference between the CP and TD groups in terms of the size of vocabulary at 24 months of age remained statistically significant in the multivariable model. Among all predictors, the size of vocabulary at 18 months of age was identified as the most robust precursor of lexical and grammatical skills at 24 months of age. Gender was identified as a predictor of the M3L measure as an index for syntactic ability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)528-546
Number of pages19
JournalClinical Linguistics and Phonetics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01DE022566 to Dr. David Zajac. Other than this, the authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Vocabulary
  • children
  • cleft palate
  • morphology
  • syntax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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