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Grammatical abilities of Greek-speaking children with autism

Terzi, A., Marinis, T., Kotsopoulou, A. and Francis, K. (2014) Grammatical abilities of Greek-speaking children with autism. Language Acquisition, 21 (1). pp. 4-44. ISSN 1048-9223

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/10489223.2013.855216

Abstract/Summary

This study investigates pronoun reference and verbs with non-active morphology in high functioning Greek-speaking children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). It is motivated by problems with reflexive pronouns demonstrated by English-speaking children with ASD, and the fact that reflexivity is additionally expressed via non-active (reflexive) verbs in Greek. Twenty 5- to 8-year-old children with ASD and twenty vocabulary matched typically developing controls of the same age range completed a sentence-picture matching, an elicitation, and a judgment task. Children with ASD did not differ from controls in interpreting reflexive and strong pronouns, but were less accurate in the comprehension of clitics and omitted clitics in their production. The findings render clitics a vulnerable domain for autism in Greek, and potentially for other languages with clitics, and suggest that this could be a consequence of difficulties in the syntax-pragmatics or the syntax-phonology interface. The two groups did not differ in the comprehension of non-active morphology, but were less accurate in passive than reflexive verbs. This difference is likely to stem from the linguistic representation associated with each type of verb, rather than their input frequency.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Development
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Clinical Language Sciences
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Language and Cognition
ID Code:37641
Publisher:Taylor & Francis

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