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Abstract

This paper presents an exploratory study of the spontaneous production of 11 French children clinically diagnosed as specific language impaired (SLI). In a cross-sectional study of the children under and over 5 years of age, we investigate the production of finite and non-finite verbal forms, of sentences with overt and null subjects, and of pronominal clitics. A comparison between younger and older children with SLI highlights developmental patterns which parallel normal syntactic development in important respects, though at a slower pace. An area of difficulty which clearly persists for the older group involves the domain of pronominal complement clitics.