VERBS ACQUISITION IN SPEECH DEVELOPMENT AMONG URDU SPEAKING CHILDREN IN PAKISTAN
Background: Urdu syntax reflects diversity in verb forms with reference to gender and singular-plural syntactical nature of proceeding noun. This dynamic syntactical nature of verbs is suggestive to explore language specific norms of verb based developmental milestones which can further help speech-language pathologist in timely screening of verb related syntactical impairments in Urdu language speakers.
Objective: To find out age of acquisition of verb usage in speech development with respect to gender and singular–plural attributes of noun in Urdu language.
Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted on a sample of N= 370 (Boys=188, Girls=182) normally developing 2-4 years old children, drawn from schools and homes of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. A self–structured Urdu syntax evaluation questionnaire developed after pilot testing was administered on parents (Mothers=215, Fathers=31), teachers (n=96) and significant others (n=29) of target sample. Data was descriptively analysed using SPSS version 21.
Results: Results showed that utterance of verbs, noun-verb combinations, inflection of verbs with respect to gender and singular-plural nature of noun, acquired in 24 to 29 months.
Conclusion: It can be concluded that emergence of verb-related milestones in typically developing Urdu speaking children occurs at 24-29 months of age.
Keywords: Syntax, Urdu, developmental milestones, speech development, inflection of verbs