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Difficulties with passive constructions were also reported for Portuguese-speaking individuals with DS Coelho de Barros and Rubin, Similarly to Greek and English, Bol and Kuiken found low rates with interrogative structures for Dutch-speaking individuals with DS.

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The authors also reported overuse of verb—object constructions and stated that their participants avoided the use of negation and subject—predicate constructions. The production of Spanish-speaking individuals with DS was characterized by shorter, simple utterances, with lower morphosyntactic complexity Galeote et al. Similar results, with simpler, telegraphic sentences, were also reported for Italian-speaking children with DS Vicari et al. The DS group originally consisted of 40 children and adolescents, aged 5—18, previously diagnosed with DS and moderate mental disability by a certified psychologist.

Participants were either studying in public schools, spending most of their time in special education classes, or public special education schools for children and adolescents with cognitive disabilities. Participants received speech—language therapy weekly. Note that in the public-school system in Cyprus, children are entitled to receive up to 60 min of speech—language therapy or intervention overall, at a maximum of 2 times a week. The amount of time and content of intervention sessions a child needs is entirely determined by the speech—language pathologist.

A TD group was used for comparison purposes. This included 53 children ranging from 2 to 6 years of age, not diagnosed with any language disability at the time of data collection. Participants were recruited from schools all across Cyprus and came from families with a parallel socio-economic and educational background, as we were able to determine from the questionnaire given to parents along with the consent form. All participants were bilectal speakers of the two varieties spoken in Cyprus, Cypriot Greek, and Standard Modern Greek.

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We ensured that potential hearing challenges would not affect the participants' performance. Participants with DS received a hearing test prior to data collection as part of their annual battery of health tests. As an additional measure, we administered two auditory tests—a repetition test and a picture selection test—to all participants.

In the repetition task, participants were asked to repeat 20 words exactly as they were produced at normal speech rate by the experimenter. The picture selection task, consisted of 15 minimal pairs sensitive to stress e. Two pictures showing each item in the minimal pair were presented to the participants and they, in turn, had to select which picture representation matched the experimenter's production. One participant with DS who used a hearing aid was allowed to participate, since they passed the doctor's hearing test and our mandatory auditory screening tests.

After obtaining informed consent, an initial, informal 5 min interaction with basic questions was conducted by the experimenter, prior to the two hearing tests. The goal of this interaction was to determine if children will be able to follow the experimenter's instructions to perform the tasks and to conclude whether they met the inclusion criteria. Other than the brief interaction, we used information from our questionnaire to decide if children met the inclusion criteria. Those included being bilectal as defined above , falling within the chronological age range, being diagnosed with trisomy 21 or not being diagnosed with any linguistic or cognitive disability, based on the group they belonged to, having adequate hearing and communication skills, and having the ability to comprehend instructions in order to perform the tasks.

In order to assess the participants' cognitive abilities, we administered the Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices Raven et al.


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Participant information is provided in Table 1. For TD children, we aimed to have at least 5 children for each 6-month age group.

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Given that individuals with DS were not found as easily at such numbers, we could not ensure a parallel breakdown. We had at least 2 participants per year, with a gap between 6;0 and 7; An exact breakdown is given in the results section in Figures 4 , 5. Table 1. We examined the comprehension and production of subjunctive clauses, with transitive and obligatory or optionally intransitive verbs, using a customized syntactic priming task with puppets for the production portion and a picture selection task for the comprehension portion.

The experiment included two practice items and 18 test stimuli. A prime was used with both practice and targeted structures, namely the production of a verb plus object if transitive as a stimulus to trigger the formation of a specific structure.

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However, this is not always the case. Participants were presented with two puppets, a cat and a dog. They were told that the puppets did not know how to speak, they could only whisper. Winnie the Pooh was the only one who could understand their whispers. Therefore, in order for the cat or the dog to communicate and express what they wanted to do they had to whisper in Winnie 's ear.

In turn, Winnie would report what the puppet said in one or more words i. For example, the experimenter would say:. The experimenter would then put the dog puppet to Winnie's ear and bark, imitating the dog. Then she would ask Winnie:. Winnie would respond with the prime in two words, as in 4 , given that the targeted verb in the subjunctive clause in this case was transitive. Verbs would be given in their lexical entry form: imperfective, present, first person, singular.

The experimenter would first provide the two practice items, in order to explain the procedure and give the participants a chance to practice, before moving on to the test items. During the presentation of the practice items, participants were instructed to start their sentences as in 5 , depending on which puppet was whispering in Winnie's ear.

The use of the formulaic main clause would enforce the use of the main—subjunctive clause combination, as opposed to the production of an isolated subjunctive clause, or a single main clause. The latter would be marked as an incorrect performance of the task. This information was given only for the practice items and was not repeated throughout the duration of the actual testing, before or after the presentation of each prime.

Participants were asked to produce a full main—subordinate utterance expressing what the animal wanted to do. The participants were asked to repeat each practice stimulus. The experimenter encouraged participants to try the second practice item alone to ensure that they understood the task.

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If the participant seemed unsure or produced an incorrect production, the experimenter administered the practice items again. Once the experimenter was confident that the participant understood what they needed to do, she moved on to the test items. For the prime given in 4 , the participant needed to produce the example given for transitive verbs in Table 2.

Table 2.

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Structural environments tested by the act-out priming production task a. After the completion of each production, the experimenter would repeat the targeted structure in its correct form, regardless of whether the participant produced an utterance matching the target or an alternative structure. This was done to ensure that the participants had heard the correct structure, for which they needed to choose the matching picture.

The experimenter would then move on to the comprehension part, presenting a picture booklet to participants. Participants were presented with four pictures and asked to choose the picture that matched the produced utterance. Pictures included four conditions:. Note that for all agent mismatch cases, the agent was always the other puppet. For example, if the targeted agent was the dog, the cat would be the puppet in the agent mismatch case. They were asked to position the sticker in the box of the image that best matched the target Figure 1 , instead of pointing to the picture.

Items were randomized in Excel. Responses and relevant comments were noted on a score sheet. Examples of targeted and produced utterances as well as pictures from the picture-selection task are included in Table 2. A total of approximately 20 min was needed to administer both tasks.

http://leondumoulin.nl/language/prayer/13416-the-complete-poems.php Figure 1. An example of a child performing the task. He first selected the sticker, listened to the prime, produced the utterance, and was then asked to place the sticker on the picture illustrating the produced task, after the experimenter reproduced the targeted utterance.


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  5. Participant productions were extracted and entered separately into a Relational DataBase Management System. Utterances varied in length depending on whether children produced a main—subjunctive clause, a main clause, or only a subjunctive clause. In an attempt to control for every related or external factor that could have potentially affected the results, each word in each utterance was tagged for information on its phonetic, phonological, morphosyntactic, and structural properties.

    Given the well-attested phonetic and phonological limitations of individuals with DS, a detailed phonological analysis prior to data analysis was considered critical to eliminate non-morphosyntactic factors that could affect results.