faculteit: "FGw" en publicatiejaar: "2008"
| Auteur||Daniel Puccini|
|Titel||The acquisition of nominal and pronominal reference by children with Specific Language Impairment|
|Begeleiders||A.E. Baker, J. de Jong|
|Faculteit||Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen|
|Opleiding||FGw MA Linguistics (onderzoekmaster)|
|Samenvatting||The organization of language in the mind has been a widely discussed topic in recent literature in linguistics. On the one hand, researchers such as Fodor (1983) and Chomsky (1986) maintain that language is composed of three distinct submodules: the lexicon, the computational system, and the pragmatic system. Within a modular framework, Specific Language Impairment is often thought to|
only affect a child’s language abilities. On the other hand, researchers such as Tomasello (2003) argue that human language emerges only after other more cognitive precursors are in place. Proponents of non-modular theories of mind and of language argue that there exists an interdependency between language acquisition and cognitive development, thus, a disorder that is specific to one’s
syntactic knowledge could not even exist (Johnston, 1994).
The current project aims to investigate the possibility of a modular
composition of the language faculty as reflected by the acquisition of nominal and pronominal reference by English speaking children with Specific Language Impairment. Reference in English provides an interesting testing ground to assess the modular make-up of mind because speakers must have knowledge of syntactic and pragmatic information in order to refer in an adult-like fashion. By monitoring and comparing longitudinal determiner and pronoun selections of typically developing children and children with SLI, it will be possible to discern whether the deficits of children with SLI can be considered specific to syntactic relations or whether they also lag behind in pragmatic awareness. If Specific Language Impairment (SLI) is a disorder that affects only a child’s grammatical development (as maintained by proponents of modular theories of mind), then one would predict that the children with SLI will perform at age-appropriate levels with respect to the pragmatics of reference. Under the assumption that language emerges as more general cognitive processes mature, one would predict a much
stronger relation between pragmatic and syntactic development. Likewise, children with SLI would be expected to experience deficiencies with both the pragmatics and syntax of English reference. Results of the project will be discussed with two goals in mind: First, the project will offer insight into the nature of SLI, and second, results will be discussed with regard to how language is structured in the mind.
|Soort document|| scriptie master|
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