Interrelations between motor processes and language skills in 5-8 year old children
2001, Vol. VI-1, pp. 7-20
Speech production involves motor processes, which raise several questions. Are they organized in a specific manner? Is the motor organization of phonation related to some general motor organization? We opted for the hypothesis of an effector-free sequential representation, in accordance with Keele's modular theory (1995), which assumes that sequence representations are stored as ordered collections of abstract tokens, and independent from any particular motor system. Difficulties in the functioning of this module should appear in various forms of motricity involving production of sequences, in speech as well as in various motor activities. Interrelations between results obtained at several language tasks and motor tasks were studied with 67 children from 5 to 8 years old. The most obvious result is the significant difference in the ability of reproducing rhythms depending on whether the child has language difficulties or not. These data lead to a stronger reliance in a motor approach of the language difficulties.