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Genetic Influences in Different Aspects of Language Development: The Etiology of Language Skills in 4.5-Year-Old Twins

Yulia Kovas, Marianna E. Hayiou-Thomas, Bonamy Oliver, Philip S. Dale, Dorothy V. M. Bishop and Robert Plomin
Child Development
Vol. 76, No. 3 (May - Jun., 2005), pp. 632-651
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3696456
Page Count: 20
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Genetic Influences in Different Aspects of Language Development: The Etiology of Language Skills in 4.5-Year-Old Twins
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Abstract

The genetic and environmental etiologies of diverse aspects of language ability and disability, including articulation, phonology, grammar, vocabulary, and verbal memory, were investigated in a U.K. sample of 787 pairs of 4.5-year-old same-sex and opposite-sex twins. Moderate genetic influence was found for all aspects of language in the normal range. A similar pattern was found at the low end of the distribution with the exception of two receptive measures. Environmental influence was mainly due to nonshared factors, unique to the individual, with little influence from shared environment for most measures. Genetic and environmental influences on language ability and disability are quantitatively and qualitatively similar for males and females.

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