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Title: The phi-features of clitic pronouns: evidence from hearing-impaired adults
Authors: Volpato, Francesca
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Padova, Unipress
Abstract: In this paper, the use of gender and number features on third person accusative clitic pronouns in Italian is analysed on a group of hearing impaired adults. Hearing impairment drastically reduces the quantity and the quality of linguistic input and strongly affects the natural process of speech development and language acquisition. Most studies concerned with hearing impairment show that although hearing impaired people come to learn the lexicon and some grammar rules of a language, they are not always able to master the oral language thoroughly. They are not able to use some components of grammar, like articles, prepositions, pronouns, nominal and verbal morphology, which are readily acquired by hearing individuals, but which represent the most frequent cause of errors in written and spoken language as well as in comprehension and production tasks of hearing impaired people (Chesi 2000, 2006, Fabbretti et al. 1998, Volterra & Bates 1989, Volterra et al. 2001). However, recent studies reveal that despite high degrees of hearing impairment and delayed access to the linguistic input, some people are nonetheless able to correctly master specific properties of the Italian language, namely the use of clitic pronouns, and gender and number morphology in left-dislocation sentences (Volpato 2002 and 2008). By analysing the performance of both orally-trained hearing impaired individuals (Volpato 2002) and LIS signers (Volpato 2008) in the different combinations of gender and number features on clitic pronouns, this paper contributes to the current debate on phi-features. Indeed, it brings further evidence that gender and number features specified on these pronouns are not on the same level in the syntactic structure.
Appears in Collections:Rivista di Grammatica Generativa : Research in Generative Grammar (RGG)

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