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Nonword Repetition as a Behavioural Marker for Inherited Language Impairment: Evidence From a Twin Study


Requests for reprints to: Dr Dorothy Bishop. MRC Applied Psychology Unit. 15 Chaucer Road, Cambridge, CB2 2EF, U.K.


The Children's Nonword Repetition Test (CNRep) was given to 39 children with persistent language impairment (LI), 13 with a history of having received speech-language therapy (resolved LI), and 79 controls, all aged from 7 to 9 years. The children with LI were twins who had participated in a previous genetic study. Children with resolved LI, as well as those with persistent LI. were significantly impaired on the CNRep. Comparisons of MZ and DZ twins indicated significant heritability of a CNRep deficit. It is concluded that CNRep provides a marker of the phenotype of heritable forms of developmental language impairment.