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Prosodic abilities in Spanish and English children with Williams syndrome: A cross-linguistic study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 August 2011

Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Madrid
University of Reading
University of Reading
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
ADDRESS FOR CORRESPONDENCE Pastora Martínez-Castilla, Departamento de Psicología Evolutiva y de la Educación, Facultad de Psicología, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, C/Juan del Rosal, No. 10, Madrid 28040, Spain. E-mail:


The aim of this study was to compare the prosodic profiles of English- and Spanish-speaking children with Williams syndrome (WS), examining cross-linguistic differences. Two groups of children with WS, English and Spanish, of similar chronological and nonverbal mental age, were compared on performance in expressive and receptive prosodic tasks from the Profiling Elements of Prosody in Speech–Communication Battery in its English or Spanish version. Differences between the English and Spanish WS groups were found regarding the understanding of affect through prosodic means, using prosody to make words more prominent, and imitating different prosodic patterns. Such differences between the two WS groups on function prosody tasks mirrored the cross-linguistic differences already reported in typically developing children.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2011

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