EMERGENCE OF URDU SPATIAL PREPOSITIONS TO ASSESS SYNTACTICAL IMPAIRMENTS IN PAKISTANI CHILDREN
Background: Urdu syntax is diverse in nature and does not relate to parameters established for English syntax in many ways. Speech-Language Pathologists’ (SLPs) assessments based on Ages of Acquisition (AoA) of spatial prepositions cannot be standardized for Pakistani Urdu speaking children until ages of emergence of these prepositions are determined in this population. Objective: to explore ages of acquisition of spatial prepositions in young Pakistani Urdu speaking children. Methodology: This cross-sectional survey explored AoA of spatial prepositions in a sample of N=370 (boys= 128, girls=242) young Urdu speaking children aged 24-48 months residing in Islamabad. Urdu prepositions checklist was given to the parents (mothers=242, fathers=32), teachers (n=63) and significant others (n=33), to fill in accordance to spontaneous speech of their children . Data were descriptively analyzed using SPSS version 21. Results: Urdu spatial prepositions اوپر /uːpər/ (Up/above/on) and نیچے /niːʧæ/ (down/below/under) were acquired in 24-26 months of age and by 42-48 months these were mastered by 89.3% and 88.6% of within age group participants respectively. Spatial prepositions acquired in 30-35 months were آگے /ɑːɡeɪ/ (in front of), پیچھے /piːʧʰæ/ (behind) and ساتھ /sɑːθ/ (beside) with percentages 67.3%, 56.4% and 72.7% respectively. Preposition درمیان /d̪rmjɒn/ (between) was acquired in 42-48 months with response percentage 52.8%. AoA of preposition بیچ میں /biːtʃ meɪ/ (in the middle of) can be considered as later than 48 months because even in highest age limit group i.e., 42-48 months only 49.3% participants acquired this preposition. Conclusion: The findings of current study indicate that acquisition of spatial prepositions follows same order in all children cross-culturally but their age of acquisition can vary according to their locality and language input provided to them.
Keywords: Age of Acquisition, spatial prepositions, syntax, Urdu
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