LINGUIST List 3.164

Wed 19 Feb 1992

Disc: Genes and Language Disorders

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  1. , Re: 3.142 Queries: Registers, Acquisition
  2. "Alan Prince", Genes and Language Disorders

Message 1: Re: 3.142 Queries: Registers, Acquisition

Date: Fri, 14 Feb 1992 12:51:00Re: 3.142 Queries: Registers, Acquisition
From: <smithkutormed.bitnet>
Subject: Re: 3.142 Queries: Registers, Acquisition

There is growing interest and debate regarding the nature of language
 and its relation to a theory of Universal Grammar. Myrna Gopnik claims that
language-impaired individuals do not have linguistic features such as "plural"
and "tense". As a result they must memorize each instance and appropriate
use rather than having a productive rule. She makes these claims based on
sentence completion tasks like "Everyday the man walks to school, yesterday
he -----" and grammaticality judgement tasks. Some language-impaired children
and adults she tested had difficulty judging and correcting errors and
sometimes omitted the inflectional morpheme in the sentence completion task.
This work is described in Gopnik, M. (1990). Feature-blind grammar and
dysphasia., Nature, 344. Gopnik, M. (1990). Feature Blindness: A case
study. Language Acquisition, 1, 139-164., Gopnik, M. and Crago, M.B.
(in press). Familial aggregation of a developmental language disorder.
Cognition. This last article may be out now, I don't know.
For alternative views, the work of Laurence Leonard is relevant (e.g.
Phonological deficits in children with developmental language impairment,
Brain and Langauge, 16, 73-86).

Also, I am currently looking at morphological skills in normal and language-
impaired children and their ability to implicitly and explicitly analyse
morphological structure.
One thing to keep in mind when you are thinking of these issues. I think it
is important to distinguish between two different populations: individuals
with overall cognitive deficits and individuals with specific language
impairment but normal non-verbal skills. Individuals with overall cognitive
generally show linguistic development roughly comparable to their overall
development (i.e. if they are 4 years behind in general cognitive development,
their language may also be 4 years behind). I think this is very different
from a specific lag in language development compared to normal development in
other areas. We might want to handle these things differently from a
theoretical point of view. Both interesting, though, and might be able to
tell us a lot about modulariy.
Karen Smith
University of Connecticut
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Message 2: Genes and Language Disorders

Date: Thu, 13 Feb 92 13:11:42 -0Genes and Language Disorders
From: "Alan Prince" <>
Subject: Genes and Language Disorders

Gopnik's work appears (at least) in the following:
Gopnik, M. (1990) Feature-blind grammar and dysphasia, Nature, 344, p.715.
Gopnik, M. (1990b) Feature-blindness: a case study. Language Acquisition I,
Gopnik, M. (1and M. Crago (1991) Familial aggregation of a developmental
	language disorder, Cognition 39, 1-50.

Intersested parties should examine these references.
	I'd also like to express concern about the sneering quality of
several of the posittings. , which does n -- Jakobson's memorable term
comes to mind.

-Alan Prince
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