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Sociolinguistics from the Periphery

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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.

CUP AT LINGUIST

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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