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What Do We Learn on Language Acquisition from Williams Syndrome? (pp. 225-240) $100.00
Authors:  (Agnes Lacroix, Vesna Stojanovik, Agnes Lukacs, Centre de Recherches sur la Congnition et l'Apprentissag, Budapest Univ. of Technology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and others)*
Williams syndrome (WS) is a rare genetic disorder involving the deletion of
approximately 27 genes on the locus 7q11.23. Work over the last twenty years has
focused on delineating the distinctive neurocognitive profile that characterizes this group.
The first studies identified a dissociation between cognition and language demonstrating
that the verbal performance of individuals with WS was markedly better than their
performance in non-verbal areas. More recent studies have shown dissociations within
language (e.g., relatively good phonological memory, impaired grammatical morphology)
and within non-linguistic visuo-spatial skills (good face recognition, impaired block
At the same time with data from larger groups of individuals with WS, it has become
apparent that there is heterogeneity in performance within the WS group across cognitive
domains, languages and cultures. By looking at heterogeneity in language in WS from
different language communities and approaching the phenomenon from multiple
perspectives, we can begin to identify factors mediating their performance. Thus, we can
have a better understanding of underlying processes involved in the language profile in a
disorder such as WS and of the role of external and internal factors on language
acquisition and development. 

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What Do We Learn on Language Acquisition from Williams Syndrome? (pp. 225-240)