Linguistic abilities in Italian children with Williams syndrome

Virginia Volterra, Olga Capirci, Grazia Pezzini, Letizia Sabbadini, Stefano Vicari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent studies on subjects with Williams syndrome (WS) have revealed a particular facility for language, rarely observed in other mental retarded populations, inspiring much belief in the independence of language from cognition. Lexical and morphosyntactic abilities of 17 Italian WS individuals, between 4.10 and 15.3 years of age, were evaluated both in comprehension and production and compared with those of normally developing Italian children. WS subjects look similar to normal controls in lexical comprehension, but they appear to perform more poorly in grammatical comprehension. Furthermore they look deviant from normals in some morphosyntactic aspects of their production. They perform better than normal controls only with respect to phonological fluency, when semantic aspects are not involved. Our data show very little evidence for a dissociation between language and cognition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663-677
Number of pages15
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Linguistic abilities in Italian children with Williams syndrome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this