Knowledge of Constraints on Compounding in Children and Adolescents With Williams Syndrome This study examines knowledge of a constraint on the form of synthetic noun-noun compounds in a group of 12 children and adolescents with Williams syndrome (WS; age 8–16 years). The constraint blocks regular plurals from appearing inside compounds (e.g., ferrets breeder) while allowing irregular plurals in the same environment (e.g., ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2005
Knowledge of Constraints on Compounding in Children and Adolescents With Williams Syndrome
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Andrea Zukowski
    University of Delaware, Newark, and University of Maryland, College Park
  • Contact author: Andrea Zukowski, Department of Linguistics, University of Maryland, 1401 Marie Mount Hall, College Park, MD 20742.
    Contact author: Andrea Zukowski, Department of Linguistics, University of Maryland, 1401 Marie Mount Hall, College Park, MD 20742.×
  • Corresponding author: E-mail: zukowski@glue.umd.edu
Article Information
Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Language Disorders / Social Communication & Pragmatics Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2005
Knowledge of Constraints on Compounding in Children and Adolescents With Williams Syndrome
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2005, Vol. 48, 79-92. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/007)
History: Received June 24, 2003 , Revised January 12, 2004 , Accepted June 11, 2004
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2005, Vol. 48, 79-92. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/007)
History: Received June 24, 2003; Revised January 12, 2004; Accepted June 11, 2004
Web of Science® Times Cited: 13

This study examines knowledge of a constraint on the form of synthetic noun-noun compounds in a group of 12 children and adolescents with Williams syndrome (WS; age 8–16 years). The constraint blocks regular plurals from appearing inside compounds (e.g., ferrets breeder) while allowing irregular plurals in the same environment (e.g., mice breeder). In an elicited production task, the WS group showed a strong asymmetry in rates of plurals inside compounds, allowing irregulars liberally but almost never allowing regulars. This demonstrates that people with WS are capable of acquiring and applying combinatorial knowledge that requires the suppression of productive morphological rules, contrary to some recent proposals. These results are compared with other studies of compounding, and the implications of these results for theories of the WS grammatical profile are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This article is based on work conducted and reported in my doctoral dissertation. Portions of this work were presented at the meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (April 2001).This research was supported in part by National Institutes of Health Grant R03-HD-043113 and by three grants to Barbara Landau (National Science Foundation Grant SBR-9808585, March of Dimes Grant FY98-0194, and FY99-0670). My sincerest thanks go to the families and individuals who participated in this study, to Nicole Kurz for her help in testing children, and to Colin Phillips and Jaiva Larsen for their comments on drafts of this article.
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