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Morphology in Spanish-speaking children with Williams syndrome*

  • ANTONIO BENÍTEZ-BURRACO (a1), ELENA GARAYZÁBAL (a2) and FERNANDO CUETOS (a3)
abstract
<span class='sc'>abstract</span>

Aims. Morphological skills in Williams syndrome (WS) are a controversial issue, particularly cross-linguistically. Methods. We assessed pluralization patterns of nouns, inflection of verbs in the past, and gender assignment, inflection, and agreement within the noun phrase in a sample of Spanish-speaking children with WS compared to typically developing (TD) children matched on mental age (VA-TD) and on chronological age (CA-TD) age. Results. Children with WS attribute grammatical gender correctly in a production task, but they have problems with inferring the referent’s sex from the gender of the noun in a comprehension task. Additionally, they correctly pluralize nouns and properly inflect regular verbs, but they have problems with irregular verbs. Our findings suggest that they have mastered the productive rules, but they perform like younger children regarding irregular items.

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Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Antonio Benítez Burraco, Departamento de Filología, Facultad de Humanidades, Campus de ‘El Carmen’, Universidad de Huelva, Avda. de las Fuerzas Armadas s/n. 21071-Huelva, Spain. tel: 0034 959 219 113; e-mail: antonio.benitez@dfesp.uhu.es
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*

We wish thank the parents and children who made this study possible. Preparation of this work was supported in part by funds from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (grant numbers FFI2014-61888-EXP and FFI-2013-43823-P to ABB and PSI2015-64174-P to FC).

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Language and Cognition
  • ISSN: 1866-9808
  • EISSN: 1866-9859
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