Stojanovik, V., Zimmerer, V., Setter, J., Hudson, K., Poyraz-Bilgin, I., & Saddy, D. (2017). Artificial grammar learning in Williams syndrome and in typical development: The role of rules, familiarity, and prosodic cues. Applied Psycholinguistics, 1-27.
I heard about Williams syndrome (WS) for the first time when I was a linguistics student in Düsseldorf. The genetic disorder was interesting for one perceived dissociation: People with WS, so the view, had typical language capacities, but impairments of general cognitive abilities, demonstrating that the language system was independent, modular in the sense of (early) Chomsky and Jerry Fodor. Today we know this to be wrong. The language in WS may appear typical at a quick glance, but there are production as well as comprehension deficits, especially at a grammatical level. This study, led by Vesna Stojanovik at the University of Reading, aimed to understand what underlies the language profile in WS.Read More