It accounted for 6% of the variance in TROG-2 score (r2 = 0.06 p = 0.009). 3) Children will have greater difficulty understanding comparable constructions on the multiple-choice test than on the animation task. Complex syntax attempts were coded under the appropriate category for syntactic structure. There are also examples of the videos available on YouTube (with links integrated in the Methods) to facilitate replication of the study. By Jill G. De Villiers A and Jennie E. Pyers B. Abstract. (2012). Chapman et al. The median effect size from prior literature was 0.19. User comments must be in English, comprehensible and relevant to the article under discussion. This makes it possible to see whether language development is merely following a typical, but markedly delayed, course, or whether there is a distinctive profile with strengths and weaknesses in specific aspects of language. Adverbial clauses included two temporal (before, after), one causal (because) and one conditional (if). These utterances were also coded as complex sentence attempts so that they could be examined separately from the grammatical and complete utterances. TD, typically developing; CI, cognitive impairment of unknown aetiology; DS, Down syndrome. TECS-E needs to be normed and standardized before the complete assessment tool can be made available. Approved with reservations - A number of small changes, sometimes more significant revisions are required to address specific details and improve the papers academic merit. Keywords: Complex syntax, complex sentence, specific language impairment, language development, language disorders Discussion: If rich linguistic inputs are not available for children during the critical period of the first language acquisition, the syntactic skill, especially in complex syntactic constructions, will not normally develop. The view guiding this study is that complex syntax is rhetorical syntax, organizing the flow of information in a piece of discourse. Thank you for inviting me to review this paper. Compound-complex Syntax Examples: Even though he was nervous, the boy jumped and he landed across the stream. Please confirm that you accept the User Comment Terms and Conditions. However, a close look at the distractor items suggests that the participants could respond correctly by understanding key words in the sentence and did not need to understand the complex syntax i.e. Pronominal subjects were also included in the indirect object and oblique clause structures, again to reflect structures used in natural discourse. The sample size was calculated using a power analysis from a hierarchical linear regression analysis, with an expected effect size of 0.19 (see below for justification). Find out more ». Examples of correct and non-match adverbial clauses are available at https://youtu.be/ILsCSUriGRU and https://youtu.be/Cd-EBpCtzZw, respectively. Hearing. Where the animations matched the given sentence, the action was carried out on the head noun as expected (in this case the girl he threw the ball to). This paper is particularly concerned with addressing the discrepancies between males and females regarding syntactic aspects of language. One view of a child with poor comprehension of syntax is that their situation is similar to a competent adult who has to cope in a foreign country where they only have a weak grasp of the language: they will recognise individual words and create what sense they can from them in the context, but fail to understand more complex meanings conveyed by the word sequence. favour or employment) as a result of your submission. Home » Current projects » Development of complex syntax resources, Chief Scientist – Ministry of Education Grant # 0607015371, Development of complex syntax resources: A psycholinguistic study in schoolage children with different linguistic proficiencies. 1) Internal consistency of TECS-E was calculated to give an index of reliability. We would like to thank the children with Down syndrome who took part in the project and their parents and teachers who facilitated data collection. This finding is also consistent with expressive acquisition data, (Diessel, 2004) showing that when children start to produce full bi-clausal relatives, the majority are of the intransitive subject form. Syntax is a part of linguistics that is involved in the study of sentence structure. For a more detailed discussion see Frizelle et al. intermediate-level learners of Spanish. Finally, in relation to participants’ performance on comparable relative clauses in the sentence verification animation task versus TROG-2 (a multiple-choice comprehension task) (Bishop, 2003), we previously noted that a statistical comparison was not possible (see section titled Children’s understanding of complex sentences – a comparison of the three groups), as children with DS performed at floor on the TROG-2. Spanish Applied Linguistics 1: 3-23.---. The mean percentage of utterances containing one or more complex syntax forms was 6.2% at 3 years and 11.7% at 4 years. Classification is a sorting task that involves categorizing objects or geometric shapes (such as coloured circles) and sequential order requires the child to understand the relationship between shapes/blocks in order to find the missing elements at the end or in the middle of a series. Therefore, despite evidence of a disproportionate difficulty for people with DS in each of the two aforementioned studies, it is difficult to compare their results with those found in the current investigation. Syntactically simple sentences are presented first followed by those that are more complex. We aim to address this gap in the literature. This shows that these children’s understanding of syntax is not completely explained by poor cognitive or verbal memory skills (as measured here) and that a specific deficit understanding syntactic structures (even in children functioning in the borderline range of cognitive ability) may distinguish those with DS from other neurodevelopmental disorders. The parameter estimates from the final model (Table 4) can be found in Table 5. on complex sentences. Examples of each clause type are given in Table 3. The programme was designed so that the number of attempts could only equal the number of target monsters. Down syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability. (2017); Frizelle et al. ABSTRACT The study reported here is concerned with how children acquire complex sentences for expressing their beliefs about causally related events, in the transition in language development from simple to complex syntax. For instance, an ungrammatical relative clause attempt was included in the relative clause category. Despite the fact that clausal complements and relative clauses were noted in the narrative samples of individuals with DS in the Thordardottir study, children in the current study had significant difficulty understanding all three types of complex sentences assessed. Alongside their report, reviewers assign a status to the article: speech, language and communication in children with Williams syndrome, Down syndrome. However, it is important to note that most of these studies have used the same assessment measures, with a significant focus on morphology and simple syntax and few embedded sentences. Complement clause performance showed the strongest understanding of pretend constructions, with think causing the greatest difficulty. In relation to adverbial clauses, the current study shows that children with typical development had the greatest understanding of before temporal and because causal constructions, with the conditional if causing difficulty for 76% of these children. The parameter estimates from the final model (Table 6) can be found in Table 7. We thank the reviewers for their positive evaluation of the paper, and for the suggestions they have made to improve it. To reduce the likelihood of floor effects additional practice items were given when administering this subtest. When constructing sentences, it is important to always keep in mind that ideas should be parallel. The points represent the raw data (jittered horizontally), the bars show the means, with the surrounding rectangle showing the Bayesian 95% Highest Density Interval for the mean. With the exception of two of the TECS-E practice items, which are fully available, the source code for the remainder of TECS-E is uploaded with dummy videos to allow it to run. 4) Hierarchical linear regression was used to determine the contribution of explained variance by predictors for the sentence-verification task (TECS-E) and TROG-2 (a multiple-choice comprehension task) respectively. No child from the DS or CI samples achieved this level of performance, and only five children (15%) from the TD group did this well. Children in the current study ranged in chronological age from 6;10 to 11;08, with an average mental age of 6;7 years, while those in the Thordardottir sample were adolescents spanning a chronological age range of 12;5 to 20;4 years; we are not given information on their mental ages. https://doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.14861.2, https://doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.14861.1, See the authors' detailed response to the review by Nicola Botting, See the authors' detailed response to the review by Vesna Stojanovik, See the authors' detailed response to the review by Christopher Jarrold and Nikolitsa Stathopoulou, CC-BY Attribution 4.0 International license, https://doi.org/10.21956/wellcomeopenres.16196.r34191, https://wellcomeopenresearch.org/articles/3-140/v1#referee-response-34191, https://doi.org/10.21956/wellcomeopenres.16196.r34208, https://wellcomeopenresearch.org/articles/3-140/v1#referee-response-34208, https://doi.org/10.21956/wellcomeopenres.16196.r34171, https://wellcomeopenresearch.org/articles/3-140/v1#referee-response-34171, A Table labelling error with respect to examples of sentences used in TECS-E, An expansion of the literature review to include work by Christodoulou and Grohmann (2018), More discussion of the ‘yes ‘ bias in children’s responses, Clarification regarding when we refer to mental age we are referring to a non-verbal measure, Clarification regarding: 1) the use of visuo-spatial STM in the method as a positive control; 2) the complexities involved in working memory; and 3) how we have used the backward digit span task. This shows that children’s performance on TECS-E is not completely explained by their poor memory skills and that DS status makes an independent contribution to children’s performance on the task. Descriptive analysis of different clause types. However, this format is likely to lead to children failing for reasons other than a lack of linguistic knowledge. However, when the animations did not match the sentence the action was carried out on the alternative (the other girl). In particular, it can disadvantage children (such as those with DS) who are inattentive and impulsive, and those who do not appreciate the need to scan the array carefully to choose between similar-looking items. Backward digit recall involves repeating a list of digits in reverse order and is regarded to be a measure of working-memory, as it requires both the storage and processing of information. Parents/guardians confirmed the DS diagnosis. This testing took place in the same room used for the language assessments. Regarding adverbial clauses, the non-match items for those that were temporal were shown in the order of the events depicted (before/after). If the participant changed their mind, a reset button allowed the administrator to re-enter the digits recalled. Finally, we anticipated that sentences using the verb pretend would be the least difficult complement clause items and that those using the cognitive state verb think would be the most difficult to understand. TECS-E complex syntax comprehension task. A limited production of passives has also been reported (Bridges & Smith, 1984; Fowler, 1990; Ring & Clahsen, 2005). Multiple-choice versus sentence verification task. 1 Syntax development. Many studies of both language comprehension and production have been conducted in an attempt to account for the language difficulties observed in children with the condition. Predictors of performance on the TECS-E sentence verification task. However, one could argue that the very process of trying to recall the digits in reverse order may add a layer of executive demand. Complement clauses are the earliest developing form of complex sentence (Diessel, 2004) and are often used with mental state verbs such as know and think. Note the accuracy scores were used for both forward and backward span tasks and although children were attempting to repeat the numbers in reverse order for the latter, the accuracy score does not take sequential order into account. 5) Cognitive, verbal and working memory abilities will account for more variance on the multiple-choice than on the animation task. Subordination is of particular interest as it allows for the expression of thoughts that involve hierarchical relationships between ideas, rather than just chaining them together. If applicable, is the statistical analysis and its interpretation appropriate? However, as the authors note, the question of complex syntax understanding in Down syndrome is one that deserves further investigation; researchers believe that receptive and expressive syntax is an area of relative weakness but are still not clear on the extent of difficulties in this area. Reviewer Expertise: speech, language and communication in children with Williams syndrome, Down syndrome, Reviewer Expertise: Developmental disorders especially those involving communication difficulties. The current study focuses on continuing syntactic development in later childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, targeting the emergence of complex structures in written Hebrew discourse, where paratactic structure and word order are of paramount importance. Performed on TECS-E relative to the model recently, Christodoulou & Grohmann ( 2018 reported... Of methods and analysis, decision to publish, or domestic partner ) with any of the animations... 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