Previous studies of linguistic abilities in Italian-speaking children with WS and DS are briefly reviewed. New data on linguistic performance of 6 Italian children with WS between 3 and 6 years are presented and compared with data on linguistic performance of 6 children with DS matched for chronological and mental age and of 6 normally developing younger children, matched for mental age. The language measures included a parent report of vocabulary development and early phrase structure, and a Sentence Repetition Test. Analyses revealed that the three groups of children were at the same vocabulary level, but showed different patterns in sentence production and repetition. Children with WS produced more complete sentences, similar to normally developing children at the same mental age, whereas children with DS produced more telegraphic and incomplete sentences. The difference between children with DS and WS was more marked on the repetition task, suggesting that phonological short-term memory may play a greater role when sentence production is measured through repetition. However, there was a significant correlation between proportion scores for telegraphic speech. These results from younger children confirm and extend previous findings with older children and adolescents with WS. They further suggest that the apparently spared linguistic abilities of children with WS could emerge as an artifact of comparisons made with children with DS, whose sentence production competence is more compromised relative to other verbal and non-verbal abilities.
Early linguistic abilities in Italian children with Williams Syndrome
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates,, Hillsdale, N.J. , Stati Uniti d'America
Developmental neuropsychology 23 (2003): 33–58.
info:cnr-pdr/source/autori:Volterra, V., Caselli, M.C., Capirci, O., Tonucci, F., Vicari, S./titolo:Early linguistic abilities in Italian children with Williams Syndrome/doi:/rivista:Developmental neuropsychology/anno:2003/pagina_da:33/pagina_a:58/interva