On the comprehension and production of passive sentences and relative clauses by Italian university students with dyslexia

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This study investigates the comprehension and production of relative clauses and passive sentences by a group of 10 university students with dyslexia in order to check their competence of marked word orders. Comprehension was tested through the oral modality using picture and agent selection tasks, and production was tested using oral elicitation tasks. The results show that relative clauses are comprehended and produced with difficulty, whereas passive sentences are more preserved, particularly as far as comprehension is concerned. The greater difficulty experienced with (object) relative clauses can be attributed to a specific deficit affecting the structures involving A-bar movement and regarding the length of the syntactic dependency, which places a heavy load on the computational system.


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