Using Hungarian Language to Clarify Language-thought Relations in Impaired Populations

Pléh, Csaba (2006) Using Hungarian Language to Clarify Language-thought Relations in Impaired Populations. Hungarian Studies, 20 (2). pp. 233-244. ISSN 0236-6568

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The paper argues that even in studying genetically disordered populations, taking a cross-linguistic and cross-cultural approach seems to be fruitful. Using data from several languages, including Hungarian, might help to clarify the real nature of some cognitive and linguistic disorders. Data from the longitudinal Hungarian Williams Syndrome Project, which included mainly children between five and eighteen, are presented. Williams syndrome is an extremely rare (1: 25,000 live births) genetic disorder, that shows serious impairments in spatial cognition, with a relatively intact language. However, many claims were made regarding qualitative peculiarities within the language area as well. The Hungarian data helped to clarify some of the controversies around these issues. Most notably there were no signs in Hungarian for morphological overgeneralizations being more characteristic of Williams syndrome people. Regarding spatial language, using the rich Hungarian system of suffixes and postpositions, it was observed that while their spatial term use is limited, as expected on the basis of their constrained spatial cognition, the qualitative pattern is similar to typically developing children. On the whole, our data support the use of cross-linguistic comparisons to support a more refined theory of development in genetic impairments, with a role for the individual life path.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences / társadalomtudományok > H Social Sciences (General) / társadalomtudomány általában
Depositing User: xFruzsina xPataki
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2017 06:44
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2017 06:44

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