Chapter 12 The Mirage of ‘Impaired Passives’ and the Locus Preservation Hypothesis

In: Passives Cross-Linguistically
Authors:
Kleanthes K. Grohmann
Search for other papers by Kleanthes K. Grohmann in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Maria Kambanaros
Search for other papers by Maria Kambanaros in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Evelina Leivada
Search for other papers by Evelina Leivada in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

$40.00

Abstract

Difficulties with passivization constitute a classic example of so-called ‘syntactic deficits’ across language pathologies. Language-impaired individuals are always better at comprehending and/or producing canonical structures than non-canonical ones, which has often been attributed to a breakdown or a deficit at the syntactic level (i.e. as part of narrow syntax). In the present work, we discuss impaired passives in different language disorders (specific language impairment, Down syndrome, and agrammatic aphasia). Taking passives as our main point of focus, we argue that what looks like impaired syntax in reality boils down to limitations in the externalization component of language as well as to the (over)use of default values in the context of employing processing heuristics. In the interpretation of the results, we build on the Locus Preservation Hypothesis which holds that syntactic operations are preserved and impenetrable to variation across developmental pathologies, by extending the proposal to acquired language disorders.

  • Collapse
  • Expand