Chapter published in:Studies in Chinese and Japanese Language Acquisition: In honor of Stephen Crain
Edited by Mineharu Nakayama, Yi-ching Su and Aijun Huang
[Language Acquisition and Language Disorders 60] 2017
► pp. 265–280
Chapter 12Logical expressions in Mandarin-speaking children with autism spectrum disorders
Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are traditionally believed to demonstrate profound impairment in processing semantic relations or concepts, in contrast to their relative strengths in syntax. This conclusion may be partially caused by the limitations of the traditional assessments, without incorporating fine-grained analyses of specific semantic properties that are crucial for revealing the nature of language acquisition in children with ASD. In this paper, two studies are reviewed which investigated the comprehension of logical expressions in 28 4- to 15-year-old Mandarin-speaking children with ASD and matched typical controls. Using a computer-based Truth Value Judgment task, the first study examined children’s interpretation of the logical words youxie ‘some’ and mei…huozhe…‘every…or…’. Using a computer-based Question Statement task, the second study assessed children’s understanding of the Mandarin wh-words shenme ‘what’ and shei ‘who’. The results of both studies provide evidence for the relative strengths of the interpretation of logical expressions in children with ASD. Thus, different from the traditional assumptions, it is possible that in the domain of semantics, several semantic properties may be selectively spared in children with ASD. We discuss the findings in the light of the possible contributions the language faculty makes to language acquisition, including in children with ASD.
- 2.Study 1 (Su & Su 2015): Interpretation of logical words
- 2.1.2Methodology: Computer-based Truth Value Judgment Task
- 2.2Results and discussion
3.Study 2 (Su et al. 2014): Interpretation of wh-words
- 3.1.2Methodology: Computer-based Question-Statement Task
- 3.2Results and discussion
- 4.General discussion
Published online: 24 August 2017
American Psychiatric Association
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Su, Y. (E.), Zhou, P. & Crain, S.
Tager-Flusberg, H., Paul, R. & Lord, C.
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