Do children with Williams syndrome have unusual vocabularies?
Stojanovik, V. and van Ewijk, L. (2008) Do children with Williams syndrome have unusual vocabularies? Journal of Neurolinguistics, 21 (1). pp. 18-34. ISSN 0911-6044
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.jneuroling.2007.06.003
Aims: The present study investigated whether children with Williams syndrome (WS) produced a higher number of different word roots and low-frequency words in spontaneous speech in a topic controlled setting. Method: A group of children with WS was compared to a group of typically developing children matched for chronological age (CA), and a group of typically developing children matched for receptive language abilities (LA). A further comparison was made between the WS group and a group of children matched for non-verbal abilities (NA). Spontaneous speech was elicited using a narrative task. The data were analysed using three different measures of lexical diversity. The results revealed that the children with WS neither produce a higher number of different word roots nor significantly more low-frequency items in comparison to the CA, LA and NA matched participants. Furthermore, language and non-verbal abilities did not predict the number of different and low frequency words used by the typically developing children, however in the WS group non-verbal abilities predicted the number of low-frequency words and receptive language skills predicted the number of different words produced. It is concluded that individuals with WS do not have unusual vocabularies and that the subdomain of language, lexical semantics, does not seem to be an independent cognitive skill. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.