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Enhanced linguistic prosodic skills in musically trained individuals with Williams syndrome

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 August 2019

PASTORA MARTÍNEZ-CASTILLA
Affiliation:
Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), Madrid, Spain
RUTH CAMPOS
Affiliation:
Department of Basic Psychology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), Madrid, Spain
MARÍA SOTILLO
Affiliation:
Department of Basic Psychology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), Madrid, Spain
Corresponding

Abstract

Individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) present prosodic impairments. They are also interested in musical activities. In typical development, a body of research has shown that the linguistic prosodic skills of musically trained individuals are enhanced. However, it is not known whether, in WS, musical training is also associated with enhanced prosodic performance, a question this study sought to answer. We compared the performance on linguistic prosodic tasks among seven musically trained and fourteen musically untrained individuals with WS, and typically developing peers. Among those with WS, musically trained participants outperformed their musically untrained counterparts on the perception of acoustic parameters involved in prosody, the understanding of questioning and declarative intonation, and the comprehension of prefinal contrastive stress. The results suggest that musical training facilitates prosodic performance in WS. Our findings also suggest common processing mechanisms for acoustic parameters involved in both prosody and music, and that positive music-to-language transfer effects could take place in WS. We discuss the implications of these results for intervention purposes.

Type
Article
Copyright
Copyright © UK Cognitive Linguistics Association 2019 

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Footnotes

*

This research was funded by grant AP2003-5098 from the Ministry of Education and Science of the Spanish Government. The manuscript was proofread thanks to funds from the Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology (UNED). We thank all the participants who collaborated in this research.

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