We present a theoretical and numerical analysis of pulse propagation in a semiconductor photonic crystal waveguide with embedded quantum dots in a regime where the pulse is subjected to both waveguide and material dispersion. The group index and the transmission are investigated by finite-difference-time-domain Maxwell-Bloch simulations and compared to analytic results. For long pulses the group index (transmission) for the combined system is significantly enhanced (reduced) relative to slow light based on purely material or waveguide dispersion. Shorter pulses are strongly distorted and depending on parameters broadening or break-up of the pulse may be observed. The transition from linear to nonlinear pulse propagation is quantified in terms of the spectral width of the pulse. To cite this article: T.R. Nielsen et al., C. R. Physique 10 (2009). (C) 2009 Academie des sciences. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.