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Uso dell'inglese L2 e correzione degli errori
Greta Mazzaggio, 2016, original scientific article

Abstract: L’obiettivo di questo studio è quello di portare nuovi dati al sempre vivo dibattito riguardante l’analisi degli errori durante la produzione linguistica in una lingua diversa da quella materna. Sono state analizzate con metodo contrastivo due lezioni svolte dalla medesima docente in due classi alla scuola secondaria di primo grado (qui per brevità scuola media): una lezione con alunni del primo anno e una con alunni del terzo anno. Si sono studiate le percentuali del parlato, sia dal punto di vista delle differenze docente-discente, sia da quello delle differenze prima-terza. Si sono cercate, inoltre, conferme delle teorie che vedono i docenti spesso intenti a correggere eccessivamente i discenti, a discapito della fluenza comunicativa.
Found in: osebi
Keywords: second language, foreign language, english as a second language, acquisition, errors
Published: 20.09.2021; Views: 728; Downloads: 25
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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: osebi
Keywords: pronoun reversal, pronouns, echolalia, theory of mind, typically developing children, psycholinguistics
Published: 27.09.2021; Views: 703; Downloads: 26
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A diminished propensityto compute scalar implicaturesis linked to autistic traits
Greta Mazzaggio, Luca Surian, 2018, original scientific article

Abstract: We investigated whether there is an association between autistic traits in the broader pheno- type and the ability to compute scalar implicatures. Previous studies found that the frequency of autistic traits is higher in students of science than of humanities. Here we recorded the frequency of rejection of underinformative scalar items in students enrolled either in a science or in a humanities curriculum and assessed their autistic traits using the Autism-Spectrum Quotient questionnaire. We found that rejec- tions were less frequent in science curricula students than in humanities curricula students. Moreover, rejections were associated negatively with autistic traits and positively with performance on Theory- of-Mind tasks. These findings suggest that autism cognitive phenotype is negatively associated with a propensity to spontaneously derive scalar implicatures.
Found in: osebi
Keywords: scalar implicatures, quantifiers, Autism-spectrum Quotient, pragmatics, theory of mind
Published: 17.09.2021; Views: 774; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (754,97 KB)

Echolalia as a communicative strategy
Greta Mazzaggio, 2019, original scientific article

Abstract: Echolalia – immediate or delayed – is the stereotyped and mechanical repetition of words and phrases produced by others. Experts used to view echolalia as a defect to eliminate; however, current research has shown that often imitation may serve a purpose for children with linguistic deficits. This study’s goal is to assess whether echolalia has communicative value; such purpose is achieved through the analysis of spontaneous speech and delayed echoes uttered by a 13- years-old boy officially diagnosed with Kleefstra Syndrome. Since there are no linguistic studies yet regarding this syndrome, this study may shed new light on a specific linguistic strategy that people with this syndrome might use. Based on the functional categories described by Prizant (1983), we analyzed the echolalic speech produced by this teen with the aim of demonstrating the pragmatic value behind those repetitions.
Found in: osebi
Keywords: communication, delayed echolalia, immediate echolalia, Kleefstra-Syndrome
Published: 17.09.2021; Views: 741; Downloads: 26
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La citazione meccanica
Greta Mazzaggio, 2019, original scientific article

Abstract: For some people quoting is the only way to communicate. In some pathologies, the difficulty in creating declarative clauses can be partially overcome through alternative strategies such as the mechanical and stereotyped repetition of words or sentences spoken by another person. In the past, this phenomenon – known as echolalia – was considered as a deficiency to be corrected. This article explores the debate over the communicative value of echolalia, drawing upon some studies which have demonstrated how imitation can play an essential role in the communication of children with language disorders.
Found in: osebi
Keywords: echolalia, immediate echolalia, delayed echolalia, citation, italian
Published: 17.09.2021; Views: 750; Downloads: 36
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On the interpretation of scalar implicatures infirst andsecond language
Greta Mazzaggio, Daniele Panizza, Luca Surian, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: We investigated the effect of presenting items in a foreign language (L2) on scalar- implicatures computation. To ensure that L2 processing was more effortful than the pro- cessing of the native language (L1), participants were late learners of L2 immersed in an L1 environment and they were presented with oral stimuli under time constraints. If scalar- implicatures computation requires cognitive effort one should !nd that people are more likely to compute scalar implicatures in L1 than in L2. In two experiments, participants were asked to perform a Sentence Evaluation Task either Italian, their native language, or in a foreign language (English or Spanish). The task included underinformative statements such as “Some dogs are animals” that, if interpreted in a pragmatic way (i.e., “Some but not all dogs are animals”) should be rejected as false. In both experiments, we found more rejections in the native language condition than in the foreign language conditions. These results provide support for models that maintain that scalar-implicature computation is effortful.
Found in: osebi
Keywords: scalar implicatures, pragmatics, default models, non-default models, second-language comprehension
Published: 17.09.2021; Views: 723; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (1,87 MB)

Scalar and ad-hoc pragmatic inferences in children: guess which one is easier
Luca Surian, Francesca Panzeri, Greta Mazzaggio, Francesca Foppolo, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Several studies investigated preschoolers’ ability to compute scalar and ad-hoc implicatures, but only one compared children’s performance with both kinds of implicature with the same task, a picture selection task. In Experiment 1 (N = 58, age: 4;2-6;0), we first show that the truth value judgment task, traditionally employed to investigate children’s pragmatic ability, prompts a rate of pragmatic responses comparable to the picture selection task. In Experiment 2 (N = 141, age: 3;8-9;2) we used the picture selection task to compare scalar and ad-hoc implicatures and linked the ability to derive these implicatures to some cognitive and linguistic measures. We found that four- and five-year-olds children performed better on ad-hoc than on scalar implicatures. Furthermore, we found that morphosyntactic competence was associated with success in both kinds of implicatures, while performance on mental state reasoning was positively associated with success on scalar but not ad-hoc implicatures.
Found in: osebi
Keywords: acquisition of pragmatics, scalar implicatures, ad-hoc implicatures, experimental pragmatics
Published: 17.09.2021; Views: 752; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (1,13 MB)

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: osebi
Keywords: autism, autism spectrum disorder, pronoun production, pronoun avoidance, language development
Published: 17.09.2021; Views: 711; Downloads: 23
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Ad-hoc and scalar implicatures in children with autism spectrum disorder
Luca Surian, Francesca Foppolo, Remo Job, Greta Mazzaggio, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Previous studies found that people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) perform well on pragmatic inference tests that require the use of the linguistic scale . The present study extends previous research by testing two types of implicature: scalar implicatures, based on lexical scales, and ad-hoc implicatures, based on contextual scales. We tested 26 children with ASD aged 4–10 years (mean age 7.1) and 26 typically developing (TD) children – matched on chronological age and with a similar performance in non- verbal IQ and vocabulary – by means of a picture selection task for scalar and ad-hoc implica- tures. We also investigated the effect of children’s scores in standardized tests measuring non- verbal intelligence, lexical, and morphosyntactic abilities and Theory-of-Mind skills on their performance in the implicature tasks. Although more than half of the children with ASD performed above chance on both kinds of implicatures, their performance as a group was significantly lower than the performance of their TD peers. General cognitive abilities were found to affect the performance of children with ASD on both kinds of implicatures, and Theory-of-Mind reasoning skills were found to be linked to their performance on scalar, but not ad-hoc implicatures. We show that children with ASD have difficulty with both kinds of implicatures. These findings may have implications for explanatory theories of pragmatics as well as for clinical work with children with ASD.
Found in: osebi
Keywords: experimental pragmatics, scalar implicatures, high-functioning autism, theory of mind, development
Published: 17.09.2021; Views: 817; Downloads: 0
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Pseudopartitives vs. agreement attraction
M. Rita Manzini, Greta Mazzaggio, Ludovico Franco, 2020, original scientific article

Abstract: Pseudopartitive constructions are constructions of the form DP-of-NP, where the quantificational, collective or container DP head is interpreted as measuring the embedded NP. A verb can agree either with the head (Head Agreement) or with the embedded NP (Embedded Agreement). We argue that agreement alternations with pseudopartitives form part of lin- guistic competence. Specifically, we account for them in terms of a dual la- belling option open to of -DP/NP constituents, as either PPs (of projecting) or as NPs (of not projecting). Thus, we reject the conclusion that pseudopar- titives are to be accounted for in processing terms, and wholly subsumed un- der agreement attraction. In two studies, we investigate subject-verb num- ber agreement (Study 1, N = 103) and gender agreement (Study 2, N = 87), in an acceptability task with pseudopartitive constructions involving either a collective noun or an approximate quantifier, controlling for the nature of the head. Results show that Italian pseudopartitives allows embedded agree- ment, depending on the speaker and on the nature of the head (quantifiers better than collective Ns).
Found in: osebi
Keywords: pseudopartitives, agreement, number, gender, agreement at- traction
Published: 17.09.2021; Views: 601; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (646,12 KB)

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