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Intonation and Prosodic Structure

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Academic Paper


Title: A follow-up study on Italian late talkers: Development of language, short-term memory, phonological awareness, impulsiveness, and attention
Author: Laura D'Odorico
Institution: Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca
Author: Alessandra Assanelli
Institution: Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca
Author: Fabia Franco
Institution: Middlesex University
Author: Valentina Jacob
Institution: Università degli Studi di Padova
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science; General Linguistics; Neurolinguistics; Phonology; Psycholinguistics; Syntax
Subject Language: Italian
Abstract: This follow-up study compares cognitive and language aspects of a group of Italian children ages 4–6 years, who had shown delayed expressive language abilities at 24 months of age (late talkers), with those of a group of children with a history of normal expressive language development (average talkers). Children were given a battery of cognitive–neuropsychological tests to assess grammatical comprehension, vocabulary development, verbal short-term memory, phonological awareness, planning and visuomotor coordination, and attention and impulsiveness. No differences were found in the results between the two groups in the domains of attention, impulsiveness, and visuomotor planning, but in the domain of syntactic competence late talkers developed particular difficulties in the comprehension of passive negative sentences compared to average talkers. Late talkers also performed significantly worse on the nonword repetition task, which measures abilities closely connected with verbal short-term memory and phonological awareness.

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This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 28, Issue 1.

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