Long before I began this blog, correspondents were already writing asking how they could get hold of the three texts on clinical language profiling that were developed when I worked at the University of Reading in the 1970s. They had gone out of print, and it was proving difficult for new generations of students in speech therapy and language pathology to get hold of them. Those wanting to improve their proficiency in using the grammatical analysis known as LARSP (the 'Language Assessment Remediation and Screening Procedure') were particularly affected.
Old books have new leases of life today, thanks to Internet technology. So, my thanks goes to Tom Klee and his colleagues at the University of Canterbury at Christchurch, New Zealand, for hosting electronic versions of each of the books. Keyword searches can be made through the search facility of
the PDF reader and the table of contents is linked to each chapter. The various profile forms in these works can be reproduced without charge.
The Grammatical Analysis of Language Disability can be downloaded from
Working with LARSP can be downloaded from
Profiling Language Disability can be downloaded from
As it's a busy university server, there may be the occasional delay in accessing the material. A download takes about a minute per text.
It's great to see these books readily available once more. And this is especially timely, as a new book illustrating the way LARSP has been used in thirteen languages is about to appear: Assessing Grammar: the Languages of LARSP, edited by Martin Ball, David Crystal and Paul Fletcher, published by Multilingual Matters.
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That's an amazing chance to read the fundamental books on Clinical Linguistics I have so much heard about and seen referenced or mentioned in other of your books!
Incidentally, Amazon (at least, its US store) still has three or four copies of each book, through other vendors though.
As a language student, I can't thank you enough for maintaining such an informative blog. Anyway the three links you have provided in your blog are inaccessible. I've tried to access those links for past five days but unfortunately I'm getting error each time.
There is a current problem, I think because they are changing servers at Canterbury. The host is aware of the problem, and I expect it'll be resolved shortly.
And today, 10 October, I find I can access the files fine.
Thank you for making these texts electronically available and free of charge.
I am wondering about the applicability of the LARSP to the analysis of adult samples - eg. interaction between a child and adult. Is the tool suitable for this, and is there any guidance available for doing this?
We used LARSP quite often for adult disabilities - there's a chapter in GALD discussing relevant points. The closer a sample gets to normal speech, though, the less discriminating the chart gets, as too much stuff gets placed under Other, and the relatively thin coverage of Stages VI and VII begins to show up.
Oh, I see. Any suggestions of a framework for measuring the syntactic complexity of normal speech? I want to look at adults' speech addressed to a group of typically developing children and a group with impaired language and need something sensitive enough to detect any differences in complexity.
People have used LARSP for analysing input data, and as long as the speech isn't too sophisticated (unlikely with the categories you mention) it ought to show up some interesting differences. And once you've identified an area of potential interest, it's always possible to develop a micro-profile of that area, using one of the reference grammars as a guideline, eg for a more detailed classification of complex sentences.
I haven't seen it used in the studies I've come across so far, but that is because most have been focusing on pragmatic aspects of interaction, rather than complexity. I will keep my eyes peeled though. And thanks for the suggestion.
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