ITRW on Experimental Linguistics

Athens, Greece
August 28-30, 2006

Syntactic Abilities in Williams Syndrome: How Intact is ‘Intact’?

Victoria Joffe (1), Spyridoula Varlokosta (2)

(1) Department of Language and Communication Science, City University, UK
(2) Department of Mediterranean Studies, University of the Aegean, Greece

The present paper investigates the syntactic abilities of a group of individuals with Williams Syndrome to explore the debates surrounding the dissociation between language and cognition as well as possible dissociations within the language module in this population. Experimental linguistic measures that assess interpretation of passives, pronouns and reflexives as well as elicitation and comprehension of whquestions were employed. Overall results for the WS group reveal little evidence of the reported spared linguistic abilities in this population thus challenging the idea of a relatively intact language system in WS.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Joffe, Victoria / Varlokosta, Spyridoula (2006): "Syntactic abilities in Williams syndrome: how intact is ‘intact²?", In ExLing-2006, 157-160.