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  • Author or Editor: Kleanthes K. Grohmann x
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In: Passives Cross-Linguistically

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.

In: Passives Cross-Linguistically
The chapters collected in the volume Passives Cross-Linguistically provide analyses of passive constructions across different languages and populations from the interface perspectives between syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. The contributions are, in principle, all based on the background of generative grammatical theory. In addition to the theoretical contributions of the first part of this volume, all solidly built on rich empirical bases, some experimental works are presented, which explore passives from a psycholinguistic perspective based on theoretical insights. The languages/language families covered in the contributions include South Asian languages (Odia/Indo-Aryan and Telugu/Dravidian, but also Kharia/Austro-Asiatic), Japanese, Arabic, English, German, Modern Greek, and several modern Romance varieties (Catalan, Romanian, and especially southern Italian dialects) as well as Vedic Sanskrit and Ancient Greek.

The MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory (CDI) has been widely used to study children’s word production in both monolingual and bilingual contexts, in typical and atypical populations, and for the study of different aspects of language development, such as the use of mutual exclusivity. In this study, an adaptation of the CDI in Cypriot Greek is used to collect production data for post-vocabulary spurt children growing up in a bilectal community, where two different varieties of a language are used. Parents report that their children use translation equivalents for a single concept, and these increase as their total word production increases. Also girls seem to produce more translation equivalents than boys overall. This suggests that lexical development in bilectal communities might be more similar to bilingual rather than monolingual development, and that mutual exclusivity does not constrain word usage in such populations even during early word production.

Open Access
In: Journal of Greek Linguistics