Production and comprehension of pronouns and reflexives in atypical populations

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The production and comprehension of pronouns and reflexives has been extensively studied in typically-developing children, but has received less attention in children with neurodevelopmental disorders in which language impairment is the primary or secondary deficit, such as in children with specific language impairment, autism spectrum disorders, Williams syndrome and Down syndrome. Research on the acquisition of these core grammatical structures by atypical populations is important for understanding the linguistic nature of the disorders. The present chapter provides a review of experimental studies on the production and comprehension of these structures in different groups of atypical child and adolescent populations from a cross-linguistic perspective. The purpose of the chapter is to unravel similarities and differences between the affected and unaffected groups, and to investigate patterns of delayed and/or deviant performance across modalities and populations.


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