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1.
How good a cue is a resumptive pronoun? Processing relative clauses in Slovenian
Matic Pavlič, Artur Stepanov, 2020, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Abstract: We explore the time course of processing Slovenian subject and object relative clauses (SRC and ORC, respectively) and the role of resumptive pronouns (RP). Participants (adult native speakers of Slovenian, Exp1: N=37; Exp2: N=33, Exp3: N=35) read the sentences in the self-paced mode, followed by a comprehension question after each sentence. In Exp.1 we ask whether the basic SRC/ORC processing asymmetry obtains in Slovenian, despite the presence of an RP. Results: The RC verb was read longer in ORCs compared to SRCs, and postverbal NPs were read longer than preverbal NPs (Figure 1). Both observations are likely to reflect integration effects, suggesting that the presence of RP does not cancel the stand-ard SRC/ORC processing asymmetry. In Exp. 2, we ask whether this asymmetry depends on the structural position of the RC within the sentence. We manipulated RC type and structural position (center-embedded, right-peripheral), across four conditions. Results: similarly to Exp.1, a SRC/ORC asymmetry was observed at the RC verb as well as between the postverbal vs. preverbal NPs, independently of the structural position of RC. The main clause predicate was read slower in sentences with center-embedded RCs compared to those with right-peripheral RCs, in accordance of predictions of metric-based theories of integration cost. Questions following ORCs took somewhat longer to answer than those following SRCs. At the same time, all RCs were read slower in the right-peripheral position than in the center-embedded position, and questions following right-peripheral RCs were answered significantly less accurately than those following center-embedded RCs. We attribute the greater complexity associated with the right-peripheral position to availability of a competitive parse based on a pseudo-relative structures. In Exp.3, we investigate how the feature structure of an RC head and its corresponding RP may affect retrieval of the RC head with the ORC subject as a featural intervenor. Design: by crossing values for number (sg., pl.) and gender (masc.,fem.) between the RC head, RP and the ORC subject we created a continuum of feature matching across four conditions. Results: the integration effect at the RC verb was significantly greater in the conditions with non-matching gender, but not those with non-matching number, suggesting that an RP does not cancel the intervention effect caused by featural similarity, while supporting the conjecture that different patterns of processing nominal features may correlate with their grammatical status (e.g. semantic vs. morphological).
Found in: ključnih besedah
Keywords: relative clause, Slovenian, resumptive pronoun, self-paced reading, structural complexity, psycholinguistics
Published: 02.09.2020; Views: 750; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (182,37 KB)

2.
The production of pronouns and verb inflections by Italian children with ASD
Aaron Shield, Greta Mazzaggio, 2020, original scientific article

Abstract: The language of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is often characterized by difficulties with pronouns. The underlying reasons for such difficulties are still unclear. This study is the first to test the abilities of children with ASD who speak Italian, a language in which overt subject pronouns are optional but verbs obligatorily feature person-referencing morphology. We found that Italian children with ASD were less accurate than typically-developing (TD) Italian children in the production of first-, second-, and third-person singular pronouns, avoiding pronouns in favor of nouns or names more often than controls. Moreover, children with ASD produced more overt pronouns than null pronouns in marked contexts, compared to TD children. These phenomena can be accounted for by difficulties with pragmatics.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Summary of found: ...autism, autism spectrum disorder, pronoun production, pronoun avoidance, language development...
Keywords: autism, autism spectrum disorder, pronoun production, pronoun avoidance, language development
Published: 17.09.2021; Views: 158; Downloads: 4
.pdf Fulltext (274,05 KB)
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3.
The theory of mind's role in pronoun acquisition
Greta Mazzaggio, 2016, original scientific article

Abstract: This study’s aim is to understand how children learn first- and second-person singular pronouns. Many researchers tried to find possible connection between Theory of Mind (ToM) and the acquisition of pronouns. The ability to produce and comprehend first- and second-person singular pronouns seems closely linked with the ability to appreciate other people’s mental states: a lack or non-mature development of ToM may thus affect their competence in using pronouns. To strengthen this hypothesis we focused on the phenomenon of pronoun reversal, which mainly consists in the substitution of I for you, and you for I, testing a group of 17 typically developing children - 38 to 70 months of age. Due to its pro-drop classification, Italian is the focus language of this study. The outcome showed a correlation between the phenomena of ToM and pronoun reversal. Further research should focus on the directionality of this correlation and better our understanding of its meaning.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Keywords: pronoun reversal, pronouns, echolalia, theory of mind, typically developing children, psycholinguistics
Published: 27.09.2021; Views: 152; Downloads: 2
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4.
Autism and pronoun reversal
Greta Mazzaggio, 2014, master's thesis

Abstract: My project aimed at giving a personal contribution to an important international debate relevant to psycholinguistics. In particular, I studied the relationship between Theory of Mind (ToM) and the production of first- and second-person pronouns in typically developing children (TD) and children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).Moving from the dense general framework of references I created an experimental protocol with the main goal to test the existent and newest hypotheses on ToM consequential development and on the differences between the phenomena of pronoun reversal (PR) in TD children and children with ASD, to have, at the end of the hypothetical experiment, some data that can prove a correlation between the phenomena of PR and a lack or a deficit in ToM. The newness of my experimental protocol is the Italian native children target; Italian language is pro-drop and it has the agreement between the subject pronoun and the verb, for this reason it has never been studied to find possible a validation of previous studies and theories on other languages.The experiment will be structured with two batteries of tests, the first that will be a translation and adaptation in Italian of Wellmann and Liu’s seven tasks (2004) to assess the level of Theory of Mind and to verify the consequentiality hypothesis, and the second, formed by two tasks, that will assess the level of production of first- and second-person pronouns, focusing on the phenomena of PR. The objective of my potential experiment is to find a correlation between the two phenomena cited above; it can be a good starting point for further analyses on the direction of this theorized connection.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Keywords: pronoun reversal, autism developmental disorders, theory of mind, echolalia, pronouns
Published: 22.09.2021; Views: 127; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (1,34 MB)

5.
The production and comprehension of pronouns and verb inflections by Italian children with ASD
Aaron Shield, Greta Mazzaggio, 2021, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Abstract: Pronoun difficulties have long been a key feature in defining autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Most studies to-date have been conducted in English. Italian is a language in which subject pronouns are optional but verbs obligatorily exhibit person-referencing morphology. This study is the first to investigate the pronominal abilities of Italian children with ASD. We tested 26 Italian children with ASD and 35 typically developing (TD) children, matched for syntactic abilities. Pronouns were elicited in focus position and in conjunction with a verb. Children’s theory of mind, nonverbal intelligence, lexical knowledge, and pronoun comprehension were also tested. TD children produced the correct forms of 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd person pronouns significantly more often than the children with ASD, who were more likely to produce their own name rather than a pronoun. Children with ASD omitted optional subject pronouns significantly less often than TD children. Our data suggest that Italian children with ASD are generally able to acquire and use pronominal forms, but struggle with understanding when and where to use them appropriately, pointing to underlying challenges with pragmatics.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Summary of found: ... Pronoun difficulties have long been a key feature...
Keywords: pronouns, pronoun reversal, autism developmental disorders
Published: 22.09.2021; Views: 111; Downloads: 3
URL Fulltext (0,00 KB)
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6.
Addressing the debate on pronoun reversal, caused by Theory of Mind or by Echolalia?
Greta Mazzaggio, invited lecture at foreign university

Abstract: Pronoun reversal is among the most interesting errors of early child language. It mainly consists in the substitution of I for you, and you for I; during these years, such reversal has often been associated mainly with Autistic Spectrum Disorder but recent studies have shown that the phenomena also occur in typically developing children with almost the same frequency (Evans, K.E., Demuth, K., 2012). Many theories on the cause of pronoun reversals have been proposed but the problem remains puzzling because a lot of children who reverse pronouns occasionally produce also correct forms. Moreover, it is a phenomenon which is not present in all the children (Dale, P.S., Crain- Thoreson, C., 1993). Of the two of the main hyphoteses related to pronoun reversal, one links it to a lack of a Theory of Mind (ToM), another relates it to echolalia. Based on two different surveys I conducted, I would like to address the debate. With the first study I wanted to verify whether pronoun reversals is related to a lack or to a non- mature development of ToM (Wechsler, S., 2010) testing a group of typically developing children with a series of ToM tasks ordered by a degree of complexity, from less to more complex. Then I created four tasks to verify their competence in using pronouns: focus position, pronoun with verb agreement, null form and pronouns other than first and second singular forms. We administered this experiment to a group of 17 Italian children - 38 to 70 months of age - because such tasks have never been performed before for Italian language. In this respect, Italian is more complex than English, mainly for two aspects: it’s a pro-drop language, that is a language in which some pronouns can be omitted if they are pragmatically inferable, and there is agreement between the subject pronoun and the verb, which is another factor that we must take into account. With the second study I analysed spontaneous speech uttered by a 15-years-old boy officially diagnosed with Kleefstra Syndrome and known to be a reverser, focusing on cases of pronoun reversal. At the end of the two studies I have data in favor of both ToM hypothesis and echolalia hypothesis. Further researches should verify if echolalia can be related with a lack of ToM and the differences in pronoun reversal between typically developing children and children with disorders.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Keywords: echolalia, language development, theory of mind, pronouns, pronoun reversal, autism developmental disorders
Published: 22.09.2021; Views: 87; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (130,90 KB)

7.
Addressing the debate on pronoun reversal, caused by theory of mind or by echolalia?
Greta Mazzaggio, 2016, unpublished conference contribution

Found in: ključnih besedah
Keywords: theory of mind, echolalia, pronoun reversal
Published: 23.09.2021; Views: 112; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (708,42 KB)

8.
First- and second- person singular pronouns acquisition and the development of theory of mind
Greta Mazzaggio, 2016, unpublished conference contribution

Found in: ključnih besedah
Summary of found: ...theory of mind, pronoun, autism...
Keywords: theory of mind, pronoun, autism
Published: 23.09.2021; Views: 102; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (160,64 KB)

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