On the production of restrictive pied-piping relative clauses in Italian: evidence from populations with typical and atypical language development

Authors

  • Francesca Volpato Ca' Foscari University of Venice

Abstract

Restrictive relative clauses are among the most frequently studied structures in language development across different languages and different populations. While much literature is devoted to the acquisition and use of subject and object relatives introduced by that, pied-piping (prepositional and genitive) relatives have been less studied. This paper offers an overview of some recent studies in which these structures were investigated in Italian typically developing (TD) individuals and in individuals with learning difficulties (LD) using the same procedures, namely repetition and/or elicited production. Early studies found that pied-piping relatives are acquired not earlier than 10 years of age. Much subsequent research on Italian found that the rate of production of these structures increases with age increase, but it never reaches ceiling effects. Although percentages increase for both populations, the level of accuracy for individuals with LD is lower than for TD individuals. This is expected, since pied-piping relatives are typical of a formal, written register, to which people with LD have difficult access. However, low frequency in speech cannot be the only explanation for the low rate of production. Syntactic complexity, agreement phenomena, and number of arguments that receive thematic role explains the difficulties with these structures.

Keywords

genitive relatives, prepositional relatives, Italian, production, repetition

References

Adani, Flavia. 2011. Rethinking the acquisition of relative clauses in Italian: towards a grammatically based account. Journal of Child Language 38: 141-165. http://dx.doi. org/10.1017/S0305000909990250

Arosio, Fabrizio, Kazuko Yatsushiro, Matteo Forgiarini & Maria Teresa Guasti. 2012. Morphological Information and Memory Resources in Children’s Processing of Relative Clauses in German. Language Learning and Development 8: 340-364. http://dx.doi. org/10.1080/15475441.2011.634691

Arosio, Fabrizio, Pagliarini, Elena, Perugini, Maria, Barbieri, Lina, & Guasti, Maria Teresa. 2016. Morphosyntax and logical abilities in Italian poor readers: The problem of SLI under-identification. First Language 36(3): 295-315. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0142723716639501

Arosio, Fabrizio, Panzeri, Francesca, Molteni, Bruna, Magazù, Santina & Guasti, Maria Teresa. 2017. The comprehension of Italian relative clauses in poor readers and in children with Specific Language Impairment. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 2(1): 9.1-25. https://doi.org/10.5334/gjgl.107.

Avram, Larisa, Sevcenco, Anca, & Stoicescu, Ioana. 2013. Clinical markers of specific language impairment and developmental dyslexia in Romanian: The case of Accusative clitics. In L. Avram, A. Sevcenco (eds.) Topics in Language Acquisition and Language Learning in a Romanian Context. Selected Papers from Bucharest Colloquium of Language Acquisition (BUCLA), 129-159. Bucharest: Editura Universitatii din Bucuresti.

Bar-Shalom, Eva G., Crain, Stephen, & Shankweiler, Donald. 1993. Comparison of comprehension and production in good and poor readers. Applied Psycholinguistics 14: 197-227. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716400009553

Belletti, Adriana & Chesi, Cristiano. 2011. Relative clauses from the input: syntactic considerations on a corpus-based analysis of Italian. STiL - Studies in Linguistics 4:5-24.

Belletti, Adriana; & Contemori, Carla. 2010. Intervention and attraction. On the production of subject and object relatives by Italian (young) children and adults. In A. Castro, J. Costa, M. Lobo, F. Pratas (eds.), Language Acquisition and Development. Proceedings of GALA 2009, 39-52. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press.

Bentea, Anamaria, Durrleman, Stephanie, & Rizzi, Luigi. 2016. Refining intervention: The acquisition of featural relations in object A-bar dependencies. Lingua 169: 21-41.

Bianchi, Valentina. 1999. Consequences of Antisymmetry: Headed Relative Clauses. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter.

Cantiani, Chiara, Lorusso, Maria Luisa, Perego, Paolo, Molteni, Massimo, & Guasti, Maria Teresa. 2013. Event-related potentials reveal anomalous morphosyntactic processing in developmental dyslexia. Applied Psycholinguistics 34, 1135-1162.

Cardinaletti, Anna. 1998. On the deficient/strong opposition in possessive systems. In A. Alexiadou & Ch. Wilder (eds), Possessors, Predicates, and Movement in the Determiner Phrase, 17-53. Amsterdam, Benjamins.

Cardinaletti, Anna, & Volpato, Francesca. 2015. On the comprehension and production of passive sentences and relative clauses by Italian university students with dyslexia. In E. Di Domenico, C. Hamann, & S. Matteini (eds.), Structures, Strategies and Beyond: Studies in honour of Adriana Belletti, 223-279. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Cardinaletti, Anna, Piccoli, Elisa, & Volpato, Francesca. 2022. Dyslexia and syntactic deficits: Overview and a case study of language training of relative clauses. In G. Cappelli, & S. Noccetti (eds.), A Linguistic Approach to the Study of Dyslexia. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Cinque, Guglielmo. 1978. La sintassi dei pronomi relativi ‘cui’ e ‘quale’ nell’italiano moderno. Rivista di grammatica generativa 3 (1): 31-126.

Cinque, Guglielmo. 1982. On the theory of relative clauses and markedness. The Linguistic Review 1, 247-294.

Cinque, Guglielmo. 2020. The Syntax of Relative Clauses: A Unified Analysis. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/9781108856195

Contemori, Carla & Belletti, Adriana. 2014. Relatives and passive object relatives in

Italian speaking children and adults: intervention in production and comprehension. Applied Psycholinguistics 35(6): 1021-1053. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/

S0142716412000689

Costa, João, Lobo, Maria, & Silva, Carolina 2011. Subject-object asymmetries in the acquisition of Portuguese relative clauses: Adults vs. children. Lingua 121: 1083-1100. Doi:10.1016/j.lingua.2011.02.001.

Costa, João, Friedmann, Naama, Silva, Carolina, & Yachini, Maya. 2014. The boy that the chef cooked: Acquisition of PP relatives in European Portuguese and Hebrew. Lingua 150, 386-409.

Costa João, Friedmann Naama, Silva Carolina, & Yachini Maya. 2015. The acquisition of pp relatives in Hebrew and European Portuguese: another window into the atoms of intervention. In C. Hamann, E. Ruigendijk, eds., Language Acquisition and Development. Proceedings of GALA 2013. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing,

De Villiers, Jill G., De Villiers, Peter A., & Hoban, Esme. 1994. The central problem of functional categories in English syntax of oral deaf children. In H. Tager-Flusberg (ed.), Constraints on language acquisition: Studies of atypical children, 9-47. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Delage Hélène, & Durrleman Stephanie. 2018. Developmental dyslexia and specific language impairment: distinct syntactic profiles? Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics 32(8): 758-785. Doi: 10.1080/02699206.2018.1437222

Durrleman, Stephanie, & Bentea, Anamaria. 2021. Locality in the acquisition of object A’-dependencies: insights from French”. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 6(1), 106: 1-27. https://doi.org/10.16995/glossa.5876

Del Puppo, Giorgia & Volpato, Francesca. 2016. Ripetizione e comprensione di frasi relative nella dislessia e nella sordità. Talk given at the Workshop PRIN: Teoria, sperimentazione, applicazioni: le dipendenze a distanza nelle forme della diversità linguistica, University of Florence, 26-27 May 2016.

Del Puppo, Giorgia, Volpato, Francesca, Padovani, Roberto, Zavattiero, Paola, & Lusuardi, Anita. 2016. Valutare la competenza sintattica di bambini con Disturbo Specifico del Linguaggio. Poster presented at CLASTA VII (Communication and Language Acquisition Studies in Typical and Atypical Populations), Calambrone, PI, 29-30 April 2016.

Diessel, Holger & Tomasello, Michael. 2005. A new look at the acquisition of relative clauses. Language 81 (4): 882-906.

Frescura, Rita. 2021. La competenza di strutture sintattiche complesse in ragazzi di età compresa tra gli 11 e i 14 anni: un confronto tra ragazzi a sviluppo tipico e ragazzi con dislessia evolutiva. Unpublished Master thesis. Venice: Ca’ Foscari University of Venice.

Friedmann, Naama, Belletti Adriana & Rizzi Luigi. 2009. Relativized relatives: Types of intervention in the acquisition of A-bar dependencies. Lingua 119: 67-88. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2008.09.002

Gavarró, Anna, Cunill, Arnau, Muntané, Míriam, & Reguant Marc. 2012. The acquisition of Catalan relatives: Structure and processing. Revue Roumaine de Linguistique, LVII, 2: 183-201.

Galvani, Sara. 2020. Ripetizione e produzione elicitata di frasi complesse e test di memoria in adulti con DSA. Unpublished Master thesis. Venice: Ca’ Foscari University of Venice.

Grasso, Selene. 2017. La produzione di frasi interrogative e la ripetizione di frasi complesse in studenti adolescenti con e senza DSA. Unpublished Master thesis. Venice: Ca’ Foscari University of Venice.

Guasti, Maria Teresa, Branchini, Chiara, Vernice, Mirta, Barbieri, Lina, & Arosio, Fabrizio. 2015. Language disorders in children with Developmental Dyslexia. In S. Stavrakaki (ed.), Specific Language Impairment. Current Trends in Research, 35-55 Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Guasti, Maria Teresa, & Cardinaletti, Anna. 2003. Relative clause formation in Romance child’s production. Probus 15 (1): 47-89.

Jones, Manon W., Snowling, Margareth J., & Moll, Kristina. 2016. What automaticity deficit? Activation of lexical information by readers with dyslexia in a RAN Stroop-switch task. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 42(3): 465-474.

Kayne, Richard S. 1994. The Antisymmetry of Syntax. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Manis, Franklin R., Doi, Lisa Michelle, & Bhadha, Bhakhtawahr. 2000. Naming speed, phonological awareness, and orthographic knowledge in second graders. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 33(4), 325-333, 374. https://doi.org/10.1177/002221940003300405

Marchegiani, Gaia. 2020. Valutazione della produzione elicitata e della ripetizione di strutture sintattiche complesse in studenti della scuola secondaria di primo grado. Unpublished Master Thesis, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice.

Mulas, Maria. 2000. The Acquisition of Relative Clauses. An Experimental Investigation. Unpublished Master thesis, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice.

Piccoli, Elisa. 2018. Ripetizione e produzione di frasi complesse in studenti adolescenti con DSA e bilingui. Un protocollo di insegnamento esplicito. Unpublished Master Thesis, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice.

Pivi, Margherita, & Del Puppo, Giorgia. 2015. L’acquisizione delle frasi relative restrittive in bambini italiani con sviluppo tipico e con dislessia evolutiva. In M.E. Favilla, & E. Nuzzo (eds.), Grammatica applicata: apprendimento, patologie, insegnamento, Studi AitLA 2, 59-73. Milano: Società italiana di linguistica applicata.

Pivi, Margherita, Del Puppo, Giorgia, Cardinaletti, Anna. 2016. The elicited oral production of Italian restrictive relative clauses and cleft sentences in typically developing children and children with developmental dyslexia. In P. Guijarro-Fuentes, M. Juan-Garau, & P. Larrañaga (eds.), Acquisition of Romance Languages, 231-261. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Rizzi, Luigi. 1990. Relativized Minimality. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Rizzi, Luigi. 2004. Locality and left periphery. In A. Belletti (ed.), Structure and Beyond: the Cartography of Syntactic Structures, 223-251. Oxford: OUP.

Robertson, Erin K. & Joanisse, Marc F. 2010. Spoken sentence comprehension in children with dyslexia and language impairment: The roles of syntax and working memory. Applied Psycholinguistics 31(1): 141–165.

Sevcenco, Anca, Larisa, Avram, & Stoicescu, Ioana. 2014. Relative clauses: A linguistic marker of developmental dyslexia in Romanian? In J. Costa et al. (Eds), New Directions in the Acquisition of Romance Languages. Selected Proceedings of The Romance Turn V, 285-301. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Stanford, Emily & Delage, Hélène. 2019. Complex syntax and working memory in children with specific learning difficulties. First Language 40(4): 411-436.

Tagliani, Marta. 2021. On vision and language interaction in negation processing. The real-time interpretation of sentential negation in typically developed and dyslexic adults. Doctoral dissertation. University of Verona &University of Göttingen.

Tambosi, Erica. 2019. Ripetizione e produzione elicitata di frasi complesse in 15 studenti adolescenti con DSA. Unpublished Master Thesis. Ca’ Foscari University of Venice.

Tavakolian, Susan L. 1981. The conjoined-clause analysis of relative clauses. In Tavakolian, Susan L. (ed.), Language acquisition and linguistic theory, 167-187. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Tomasello, Michael. 2003. Constructing a language: A usage-based approach to language acquisition. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Vender, Maria & Delfitto, Denis. 2010. Towards a pragmatics of negation: The interpretation of negative sentences in developmental dyslexia. Generative Grammar in Geneva 6: 1-28.

Vender, Maria, Hu, Shenai, Mantione, Federica, Delfitto, Denis, & Melloni, Chiara. 2018. The production of clitic pronouns: A study on bilingual and monolingual dyslexic children. Frontiers in Psychology 9: 2301. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02301.

Volpato, Francesca. 2019. Relative clauses, phi features, and memory skills: Evidence from Populations with Normal Hearing and Hearing Impairment. Venice: Edizioni Ca’ Foscari.

Volpato, Francesca, & Cardinaletti, Anna. 2015. Resumptive Relatives and Passive Relatives in Italian Cochlear-Implanted and Normal Hearing Children. In C. Hamann and E. Ruigendijk., Language Acquisition and Development. Proceedings of GALA 2013, 568-583. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Volpato, Francesca, & Vernice, Mirta. 2014. The production of relative clauses by Italian cochlear-implanted and hearing children. Lingua 139: 39-67. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2013.10.010

Waltzman, Dava E., & Cairns, Helen S. 2000. Grammatical knowledge of third grade good and poor readers. Applied Psycholinguistics 21: 263-284.

Zachou, Angeliki, Partesana, Enrica, Tenca, Emanuela, Guasti, Maria Teresa. 2013. Production and comprehension of direct object clitics and definite articles in Italian children with Developmental Dyslexia. In S. Stavrakaki, M. Lalioti, Konstantinopoulou P. (eds.), Advances in Language Acquisition, 464-471. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press.

Published

02-11-2022

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.