An examination of the associations among multiple memory systems, past tense, and vocabulary in typically developing 5-year-old children Academic Article uri icon


  • PURPOSE: Considerable research has investigated the role of verbal working memory in language development in children with and without language problems. Much less is currently known about the relationship between language and the declarative and procedural memory systems. This study examined whether these 2 memory systems were related to typically developing children's past tense and lexical knowledge. METHOD: Fifty-eight typically developing children approximately 5 years of age completed a battery of linguistic and nonlinguistic tasks, including tests of vocabulary, past tense production, and procedural and declarative memory. RESULTS: The results showed that declarative and procedural memory were not correlated with either regular or irregular past tense use. A significant correlation was observed between declarative memory and vocabulary. CONCLUSIONS: The results of the study were not consistent with the view that the declarative and procedural memory systems support children's use of the regular and irregular past tense. However, evidence was found suggesting that declarative memory supports vocabulary in this age group.

publication date

  • 2012