Article/Report  |   December 2007
Intonation Abilities of Children With Williams Syndrome: A Preliminary Investigation
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Vesna Stojanovik
    School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading, England
  • Jane Setter
    School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading, England
  • Lizet van Ewijk
    School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading, England
  • Contact author: Vesna Stojanovik, School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading, Reading R66 6AL, England. E-mail: v.stojanovik@reading.ac.uk.
Article Information
Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Social Communication & Pragmatics Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language
Article/Report   |   December 2007
Intonation Abilities of Children With Williams Syndrome: A Preliminary Investigation
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2007, Vol. 50, 1606-1617. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/108)
History: Received August 25, 2006 , Revised December 11, 2006 , Accepted March 14, 2007
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2007, Vol. 50, 1606-1617. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/108)
History: Received August 25, 2006; Revised December 11, 2006; Accepted March 14, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 12

Purpose: The authors investigated expressive and receptive intonation abilities in children with Williams syndrome (WS) and the relation of these abilities to other linguistic abilities.

Method: Fourteen children with WS, 14 typically developing children matched to the WS group for receptive language (LA), and 15 typically developing children matched to the WS group for chronological age (CA) were compared on a range of receptive and expressive intonation tasks from the Profiling Elements of Prosodic Systems–Child version (PEPS-C) battery.

Results: The WS group performed similarly to the LA group on all intonation tasks apart from the long-item imitation task, on which the WS group scored significantly lower than the LA group. When compared with the CA group, the WS group was significantly poorer on all aspects of intonation. Whereas there were a number of significant correlations between the intonation and language measures in the control groups, in the WS group, there was only 1 significant correlation between a PEPS-C task and one of the language measures.

Conclusion: As a result of this study, the authors concluded that children with WS have expressive and receptive intonation abilities as expected for their level of language comprehension and that intonation and other linguistic abilities in WS are not strongly related.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by Award RES-000-22-1302 from the United Kingdom Economic and Social Sciences Research Council to Vesna Stojanovik and Jane Setter. We thank the Williams Syndrome Foundation in the United Kingdom for their continuous support. We also thank all of the children who participated in the study and all the parents and teachers who helped us access the children.
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