Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-78dcdb465f-xl52z Total loading time: 0.291 Render date: 2021-04-14T23:11:32.237Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": false, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true }

Do you have a question for me? How children with Williams syndrome respond to ambiguous referential communication during a joint activity*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 August 2012

DANIELA PLESA SKWERER
Affiliation:
Boston University
EMILY AMMERMAN
Affiliation:
Boston University
HELEN TAGER-FLUSBERG
Affiliation:
Boston University
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Research on language in individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) has been fueled by persistent theoretical controversies for two decades. These shifted from initial focus on dissociations between language and cognition functions, to examining the paradox of socio-communicative impairments despite high sociability and relatively proficient expressive language. We investigated possible sources of communicative difficulties in WS in a collaborative referential communication game. Five- to thirteen-year-old children with WS were compared to verbal mental age- and to chronological age-matched typically developing children in their ability to consider different types of information to select a speaker's intended referent from an array of items. Significant group differences in attention deployment to object locations, and in the number and types of clarification requests, indicated the use of less efficient and less mature strategies for reference resolution in WS than expected based on mental age, despite learning effects similar to those of the comparison groups, shown as the game progressed.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

Footnotes

[*]

The research reported in this article was supported in part by a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (RO1 HD 33470). We would like to thank Alex Fine, Mary Lindeke, Meaghan Kennedy, Lisa Edelson, and Marie-Christine André for help with the design of the task and with data collection. We also want to thank Corinne Bart, Tanya Pirog, Julia Rafferty, and Tommy Chou for help with transcriptions and coding of the videotapes. We express our sincere gratitude to the National Williams Syndrome Association and the New England regional chapter for their help in recruiting participants; and to all the families and individuals who participated in this study.

References

Abbeduto, L., Evans, J. & Dolan, T. (2001). Theoretical perspectives on language and communication in mental retardation and developmental disabilities. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews 7, 4555.3.0.CO;2-H>CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Abbeduto, L., Murphy, M. M, Kover, S. T, Giles, N. D., Karadottir, S., Amman, A. et al. (2008). Signaling noncomprehension of language: A comparison of fragile X syndrome and Down syndrome. American Journal of Mental Retardation 113, 214–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Abbeduto, L. & Nuccio, J. (1989). Evaluating the pragmatic aspects of communication in school-age children and adolescents: Insights from research on atypical development. School Psychology Review 18, 498508.Google Scholar
Ackerman, B. P., Szymanski, J. & Silver, D. (1990). Children's use of the common ground in interpreting ambiguous referential utterances. Developmental Psychology 26, 234–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Asada, K., Tomiwa, K., Okada, M. & Itakura, S. (2010). Atypical verbal communication pattern according to others' attention in children with Williams syndrome. Research in Developmental Disabilities 31, 452–57.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Beal, C. R. & Belgrad, S. L. (1990). The development of message evaluation skills in young children. Child Development 61, 705712.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Beck, S. R. & Robinson, E. J. (2001). Children's ability to make tentative interpretations of ambiguous messages. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 79, 95114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bellugi, U., Bihrle, A., Neville, H., Jernigan, T. & Doherty, S. (1992). Language, cognition, and brain organization in a neurodevelopmental disorder. In Gunnar, M. and Nelson, C. (eds), Developmental behavioral neuroscience: The Minnesota symposium, 201232. Hillsdale, NJ: LEA.Google Scholar
Bellugi, U., Marks, S., Bihrle, A. & Sabo, H. (1988). Dissociation between language and cognitive functions in Williams syndrome. In Bishop, D. & Mogford, K. (eds), Language development in exceptional circumstances, 177–89. London: Churchill Livingstone.Google Scholar
Brock, J. (2007). Language abilities in Williams syndrome: A critical review. Development and Psychopathology 19, 97127.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Clark, H. H. (1992). Arenas of language use. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Crawford, N., Edelson, L., Plesa Skwerer, D. & Tager-Flusberg, H. (2008). Expressive language style among adolescents and adults with Williams syndrome. Applied Psycholinguistics 29, 585602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Doyle, T. F., Bellugi, U., Korenberg, J. R. & Graham, J. (2004). “Everybody in the world is my friend”: Hypersociability in young children with Williams syndrome. American Journal of Medical Genetics 124A, 263–73.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Dunn, L. M. & Dunn, L. M. (2007). Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, 4th edn. Bloomington, MN: NCS Pearson, Inc.Google Scholar
Dykens, E. M., Hodapp, R. M. & Finucane, B. M. (2000). Genetics and mental retardation syndromes: A new look at behavior and interventions. Baltimore: Brookes.Google Scholar
Einfeld, S., Tonge, B. & Rees, V. (2001). Longitudinal course of behavioral and emotional problems in Williams syndrome. American Journal of Mental Retardation 106, 7381.2.0.CO;2>CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Glucksberg, S., Krauss, R. M. & Higgins, E. T. (1975). The development of referential communication skills. In Horowitz, F. E. (ed.), Review of child development research, vol. 4, 305345. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Hanna, J. E. & Tanenhaus, M. K. (2004). Pragmatic effects on reference resolution in a collaborative task: Evidence from eye movements. Cognitive Science: A Multidisciplinary Journal 28, 105115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Howlin, P. & Udwin, O. (2006). Outcome in adult life for people with Williams syndrome— results from a survey of 239 families. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research 50, 151–60.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
John, A., Rowe, M. & Mervis, C. B. (2009). Referential communication skills of children with Williams syndrome: Understanding when messages are not adequate. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities 114, 8599.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jones, W., Bellugi, U., Lai, Z., Chiles, M., Reilly, J., Lincoln, A. et al. (2000). Hypersociability in Williams syndrome. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 12(Supplement), 3046.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Karmiloff-Smith, A., Ansari, D., Campbell, L., Scerif, G. & Thomas, M. (2006). Theoretical implications of studying cognitive development in genetic disorders: The case of Williams-Beuren syndrome. In Morris, C., Lenhoff, H. and Wang, P. (eds), Williams-Beuren syndrome: Research and clinical perspectives, 254–73. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
Karmiloff-Smith, A., Klima, E., Bellugi, U., Grant, J. & Baron-Cohen, S. (1995). Is there a social module? Language, face processing and theory of mind in individuals with Williams syndrome. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 7, 196208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kaufman, A. & Kaufman, N. (2004). Manual for the Kaufman Brief Test of Intelligence, 2nd edn.Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service.Google Scholar
Klein-Tasman, B. P., Mervis, C. B., Lord, C. & Phillips, K. (2007). Socio-communicative deficits in young children with Williams syndrome: Performance on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule. Child Neuropsychology 13, 444–67.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Laing, E., Butterworth, G., Ansari, D., Gsodl, M., Longhi, E., Panagiotaki, G., Paterson, S. & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2002). Atypical development of language and social communication in toddlers with Williams syndrome. Developmental Science 5, 233–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Laws, G. & Bishop, D. V. M. (2004). Pragmatic language impairment and social deficits in Williams syndrome: A comparison with Down's syndrome and specific language impairment. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders 39, 4564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mervis, C. B. & Becerra, A. (2007). Language and communicative development in Williams syndrome. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews 13, 315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mervis, C. B. & Bertrand, J. (1997). Developmental relations between cognition and language: Evidence from Williams syndrome. In Adamson, L. B. & Romski, M. A. (eds), Communication and language acquisition: Discoveries from atypical development, 75106. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.Google Scholar
Mervis, C. B. & John, A. (2008). Vocabulary abilities of children with Williams syndrome: Strengths, weaknesses, and relation to visuospatial construction ability. Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research 51, 967–82.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Mervis, C. B., Morris, C. A., Klein-Tasman, B. P., Bertrand, J., Kwitny, S., Appelbaum, L. G. et al. (2003). Attentional characteristics of infants and toddlers with Williams syndrome during triadic interactions. Developmental Neuropsychology 23, 243–68.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Mervis, C. B., Robinson, B. F., Bertrand, J., Morris, C. A., Klein-Tasman, B. P. & Armstrong, S. C. (2000). The Williams syndrome cognitive profile. Brain and Cognition 44, 604628.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Osborne, L. R. (2006). The molecular basis of a multisystem disorder. In Morris, C. A., Lenhoff, H. M. & Wang, P. (eds), Williams-Beuren syndrome: Research and clinical perspectives, 1858. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
Philofsky, A., Fidler, D. J. & Hepburn, S. (2007). Pragmatic language profiles of school-age children with autism spectrum disorders and Williams syndrome. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology 16, 368–80.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Plesa Skwerer, D. & Tager-Flusberg, H. (2006). Social cognition in Williams-Beuren syndrome. In Morris, C. A., Lenhoff, H. M. & Wang, P. (eds), Williams-Beuren syndrome: Research and clinical perspectives, 237–53. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
Reilly, J., Klima, E. S. & Bellugi, U. (1990). Once more with feeling: Affect and language in atypical populations. Development and Psychopathology 2, 367391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rosenberg, S. & Abbeduto, L. (1993). Language and communication in mental retardation: Development, processes, and intervention. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum Publishers.Google Scholar
Sperber, D. & Wilson, D. (2002). Pragmatics, modularity and mind-reading. Mind and Language 17, 323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stojanovik, V. (2006). Social interaction deficits and conversational inadequacy in Williams syndrome. Journal of Neurolinguistics 19, 157–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stojanovik, V., Perkins, M. & Howard, S. (2004). Williams syndrome and specific language impairment do not support claims for developmental double dissociations and innate modularity. Journal of Neurolinguistics 17, 403424.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stojanovik, V., Perkins, M. & Howard, S. (2006). Linguistic heterogeneity in Williams syndrome. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics 20, 547–52.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Strømme, P., Bjørnstad, P. & Ramstad, K. (2002). Prevalence estimation of Williams syndrome. Journal of Child Neurology 17, 269–71.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Tager-Flusberg, H. (2006). Defining language phenotypes in autism. Clinical Neuroscience Research 6, 219–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tager-Flusberg, H. & Sullivan, K. (2000). A componential view of theory of mind: Evidence from Williams syndrome. Cognition 76(1), 5990.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Udwin, O. & Yule, W. (1990). Expressive language of children with Williams syndrome. American Journal of Medical Genetics, 6(Supplement), 108114.Google ScholarPubMed
Zukowski, A. (2004). Investigating knowledge of complex syntax: Insights from experimental studies of Williams syndrome. In Rice, M. & Warren, S. (eds), Developmental language disorders: From phenotypes to etiologies, 99119. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Full text views reflects PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views.

Total number of HTML views: 18
Total number of PDF views: 116 *
View data table for this chart

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 14th April 2021. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Do you have a question for me? How children with Williams syndrome respond to ambiguous referential communication during a joint activity*
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Do you have a question for me? How children with Williams syndrome respond to ambiguous referential communication during a joint activity*
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Do you have a question for me? How children with Williams syndrome respond to ambiguous referential communication during a joint activity*
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *