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Title: The acquisition of relative clauses and phi-features: evidence from hearing and hearing-impaired populations
Authors: Volpato, Francesca
Keywords: Italian Sign Language, Relative clauses
Issue Date: 2010
Abstract: The aim of this study is to investigate the production and comprehension of subject (OS) and object (OO) restrictive relative clauses in various hearing and hearing-impaired populations (cochlear-implanted children, adolescent LIS signers, hearing children, hearing adolescents, and hearing adults). An agent selection task and an elicited production task were adopted to test the individuals’ competence. The analysis of the comprehension showed that a significant difference between hearing-impaired and hearing subjects was attested in the different combinations of number features. In any case, for all participants a typical gradient of difficulty was found. OSs are easier than OOs, and OOs are easier than object relatives with a postverbal subject (OOp). In the production task, the asymmetry between OSs and OOs was replicated. OSs were produced more easily than OOs. Different response strategies were adopted when an OOs was targeted; the pattern of response varied according to the linguistic maturation achieved. The performance of the participants was explained by attraction phenomena and recent linguistic proposals on locality and agreement.
Appears in Collections:Italian Sign Language Dissertations

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