About the Test

The Curtiss Yamada Comprehensive Language Evaluation (CYCLE) is a test informed by linguistic theory, a test that assesses morphology, syntax, and semantics. It has been used by researchers in the US and several countries to generate linguistic data for analysis.

The CYCLE covers structures and features that emerge between 1 and 10 years of age, the active language development years. It includes the structures comprising a major part of the grammatical core of English.

The CYCLE was designed to test language, as distinct from cognitive and intellectual ability. As such, the CYCLE, unlike other putative language tests, does not statistically correlate with IQ or Mental Age (MA). As a result, the CYCLE has been successfully used with many different populations, including individuals with:

  • autism
  • Specific Language Impairment (SLI)
  • hearing impairment
  • pediatric hemispherectomy
  • epilepsy
  • severe cognitive impairments
  • genetic anomalies
    • Turner syndrome
    • Klinefelter syndrome
    • Down syndrome
  • spina bifida
  • hydrocephaly
  • Noonan syndrome
  • agenesis of the corpus callosum
  • Fetal Alcohol syndrome (FAS)
  • linguistic isolation
  • Landau-Kleffnor syndrome
  • acquired aphasia
  • dementias

Because of its breadth, the range of structures tested by the CYCLE allows one to identify, specific linguistic impairments which clinicians can then work to remediate.

Parts of the CYCLE have been translated into Hebrew, Spanish, and American Sign Language.

The CYCLE batteries currently available are:

Each of these batteries consists of a developmentally arranged set of subtests and items.

On the CYCLE-R, for the most part, the subject is asked to point to a picture corresponding to a word, phrase, or sentence (e.g. 'The girl is pushing the boy').

On the CYCLE-E the subject is asked to complete a sentence frame (e.g. "Here the ball is off the chair, but here the ball is...").

Curtiss and Yamada also created the CYCLE-N (CYCLE Neurological Measures), a test that assists surgeons by allowing assessment of grammar in pre-, intra-, and post-surgical conditions. (More information is available on request)

Other CYCLE tests

Additional CYCLE tests focusing on specific aspects of grammar are in development.

  • CYCLE Anaphora test
  • CYCLE Coda Discrimination test
  • CYCLE Grammaticality Judgment test
  • CYCLE Nonsense Word Repetition test
  • CYCLE Past Tense test (compares regular and irregular past tense performance)
  • CYCLE Phonemic Discrimination test (CYCLE-P)
  • CYCLE Presupposition and Entailment test
  • CYCLE WH-Movement test
  • CYCLE Wug test (tests plurals, subject-verb agreement and tense marking on nonsense stems)