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Department of Cognitive Science

Seminar Abstract

The Locus Preservation Hypothesis and variation in atypical cognitive phenotypes. (CLaS-CCD Research Colloquium Series)

Speaker : Professor Kleanthes K Grohmann, Department of English Studies, University of Cyprus, Cyprus.
Date : 27th of June 2017, 11:30AM until 12:30PM
Location : Australian Hearing Hub, Level 3, 3.610, Macquarie University.

    Grammatical markers are not uniformly impaired across languages, even when the target populations share a diagnosis and the marker in question is grammaticalized in a similar way. This work identifies similarities across the atypical manifestations of grammatical markers in child populations with Specific Language Impairment, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Down Syndrome. By comparatively reviewing the literature from three different disorders in Greek-speaking populations, it can be observed that certain markers stand out as particularly susceptible to impairment across disorders, while others are consistently spared. We capture the relevant distribution through the Locus Preservation Hypothesis, according to which syntactic operations appear to be universally preserved across atypical cognitive phenotypes. This hypothesis has implications for typical language acquisition, second language learning, and language variation in general.

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