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Academic Paper


Title: Moving toward a unified effort to understand the nature and causes of language disorders
Author: Mabel L. Rice
Institution: University of Kansas
Author: Steven F Warren
Institution: University of Kansas
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science; Neurolinguistics; Psycholinguistics
Abstract: The nature and causes of language disorders are research topics familiar to the readership of Applied Psycholinguistics. Current inquiries place these topics in a dynamic and sprawling multidisciplinary context manifested through investigations of linguistic acquisition, cognitive development, genetics, neurocortical processes, cognitive neurolinguistics, behavioral phenotypes, and language intervention. This list is not complete by any means, but it does suggest the wide front of the current search for better knowledge about what causes language disorders and the dimensions of language acquisition that are affected. Although there is considerable momentum underway in current inquiries, the full potential for scientific advancement is hampered by fragmentation in the field, in part attributable to partitioning by diagnostic categories of affectedness. Investigators (and their funding sources) often focus on a particular clinical group, such as specific language impairment (SLI), autism-autism spectrum disorders (ASD), Williams syndrome (WS), Down syndrome (DS), or fragile X syndrome (FXS). Although this is not exclusively the case, it is relatively difficult to carry out comparative studies across the multiple clinical conditions in which language disorders appear and to monitor developments across such a wide front of investigation. The consequence is that findings are distributed across different publication outlets and different groups of scholars, a situation that can limit our appreciation of the ways in which language disorders are manifest, and the identification of common etiological factors.

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This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 26, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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