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Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice

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Language Evolution: The Windows Approach

By Rudolf Botha

Language Evolution: The Windows Approach addresses the question: "How can we unravel the evolution of language, given that there is no direct evidence about it?"


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Academic Paper


Title: Asynchrony in the cognitive and lexical development of young children with Williams syndrome
Author: Thierry Nazzi
Institution: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Author: Alison Gopnik
Institution: University of California
Author: Annette Karmiloff-Smith
Institution: University of London
Linguistic Field: Psycholinguistics
Abstract: The present study investigates whether five-to-six-year-old children with Williams syndrome (N=8) can form new object categories based on naming information alone, and compares them with five groups of typically developing children aged 2;0 to 6;0 (N=34 children). Children were presented with triads of dissimilar objects; all objects in a triad were labelled, two of them with the same pseudoname. Name-based categorization was evaluated through object selection. Performance was above chance level for all groups. Performance reached a ceiling at about 4;0 for the typically developing children. For the children with Williams Syndrome, performance remained below chronological age level. The present results are discussed in light of previous findings of a failure to perform name-based categorization in younger children with Williams syndrome and the persistent asynchrony between cognitive and lexical development in this disorder.

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This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 32, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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