Differences in native and foreign language repetition tasks between subjects with William's and Down's syndromes

F. Fabbro, B. Alberti, C. Gagliardi, R. Borgatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The capacity to repeat verbal stimuli in the mother tongue (Italian) and in unfamiliar (or scarcely familiar) foreign languages (English and German) was compared across William's Syndrome (WS) subjects, Down's Syndrome (DS) subjects and mental-age-matched control subjects. In all repetition tasks (words, nonwords and sentences) in the mother tongue WS subjects performed significantly better than DS subjects. In the sentence repetition task in Italian WS subjects scored significantly lower than controls. In the sentence repetition task in unfamiliar (or scarcely familiar) foreign languages WS subjects performed significantly better than DS subjects but scored significantly lower than controls. The lower performances of WS subjects may be related to a dysfunction of the basal ganglia involved in syntactic processing, while the lower performances of DS subjects may be explained in terms of an impairment of the fronto-cerebellar structures involved in articulation and working memory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurolinguistics
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2002

Keywords

  • Down's syndrome
  • Genetic language disorders
  • Mental retardation
  • Repetition tasks
  • Unfamiliar foreign languages
  • William's syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language

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