Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Language Use in Williams Syndrome

The Implications of Williams Syndrome « Language Fix:

"Comparisons of SLI and Williams Syndrome hinge on the notion that SLI is inherited. While the research does suggest that at least a predispotion toward SLI is inherited, the complexity of its causes makes any comparisons like that of apples and oranges. The exact cause of Williams Syndrome is known: it is the result of missing genetic material on chromosome seven. SLI is likely the result of a stew of ingredients, with varied recipes, and varied results. Individuals with Williams Syndrome are gregarious. They enjoy talking. Is it any wonder that they may become relatively proficient at something they enjoy? As with other human behaviors and skills, language acquisition will likely never be reduced to one cause. Similarly, the fact that these individuals are poor puzzle solvers is more likely related to visual-spacial deficits than an impairment in some “puzzle solving” gene.

Anette Karmiloff-Smith has done a lot of great work on Williams Syndrome, much with a focus on accurately describing its characteristic language skills and deficits. Many of her publications are available for download on her personal web site. Language log has published an interesting post on the science and state of language research in Williams Syndrome..."

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