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Language acquisition in Williams syndrome: Lexical constraints and semantic organisation

Stevens, Tassos Sion; (1998) Language acquisition in Williams syndrome: Lexical constraints and semantic organisation. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

It has been commonly reported that WS individuals show 'bizarre' semantics. If this is true, one can predict differences in the way WS individuals learn new words. This thesis sets out to test this prediction. Lexical constraints on word-learning (after Golinkoff et al. and Markman) were tested on WS children and adults and on a wide age range of normal control children. Object scope constraints were present in a weaker form in WS individuals, but category type constraints were absent. All constraints were consistently demonstrated in normal controls between 3 to 9 years, i.e. a much wider age range than previous research. This points to later acquisition and weaker operation of constraints in people with WS, even in adulthood. The thesis used a variety of other experiments, both on-line and off-line, and demonstrated that semantics in WS are not 'bizarre'. Rather they are delayed in development, and apart from some subtle differences, WS adults tend to resemble the performance of normal 9 year olds.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Language acquisition in Williams syndrome: Lexical constraints and semantic organisation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Psychology; Language acquisition; Williams syndrome
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099772
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