General programme, activity sheet

Friday 19 September, 2014 17:00 to 17:30 Oral presentation
Elicited production of Italian restrictive relative clauses and cleft sentences in typically and atypically developing children
Authors: Cardinaletti Anna, Del Puppo Giorgia, Pivi Margherita


We administered an elicited production and a repetition task to 13 Italian-speaking children affected by dyslexia (diagnosed/suspected) aged 6-10, in order to compare the acquisition of restrictive relative clauses and cleft sentences in typical and atypical development. Importantly, this is the first study on Italian investigating the production of such structures in children affected by dyslexia. Dyslexics uttered a much lower amount of gap ORs (4% diagnosed, 5% suspected) compared to controls (24%), and higher percentages of ORs with DP resumption (21% diagnosed, 17% suspected, vs. 5% TD), as attested in previous studies on SLI (Novogrodsky and Friedmann, 2006) and hearing-impaired children (Friedmann et al., 2008; Volpato, 2010). Importantly, dyslexics produced some SRs with DP resumption in the highest subject position, a strategy which was avoided by our control group. Also in the repetition task, they imitated a lower amount of target RCs, as it has been found for Italian SLI (Contemori and Garraffa, 2010). Dyslexics uttered a similar percentage of subject clefts compared to controls, and avoided the production of object clefts using (S)VO sentences, like TD children (Del Puppo, Pivi, Cardinaletti, 2013). However, in the repetition task, they correctly imitated lower percentages of object clefts (81% diagnosed, 65% suspected, vs. 94% TD). The difficulty experienced by dyslexics in the production and imitation of gap ORs let us speculate that some of our participants with diagnosed/suspected dyslexia may also suffer from SLI (Guasti, 2013). While in the task on relative clauses, different patterns were observed for typically and atypically developing children, this difference was not found in the task on clefts, which were little produced by all children. However, in the repetition task, dyslexics performed worse than controls both in relative clauses and cleft sentences, which shows the importance of the repetition task to detect language impairments in children.
Further information:

Submited paper (16 KB)

Paper session E
Place: Main Room

Other activities in Paper session E
16:00 h. to 16:30 h.Oral presentation

Towards an encompassing view on L1 and L2 interface variability: A cognitive pragmatic perspective
16:30 h. to 17:00 h.Oral presentation

Anaphoricity and the acquisition of imperfective aspect
17:30 h. to 18:00 h.Oral presentation

Differential object marking in adult L2: The view from Romanian and Persian


Organizers, sponsors, collaborators