14 avril 2017

Contrôle du complément contrasté, de l'auxiliaire temporel et sujets gérondifs verbaux controllés dans le TSA : le rôle des repères contextuels dans l'assignement de référence

Aperçu: G.M.
Dans cette première étude de trois sous-types de contrôle dans le TSA, il est montré que les enfants HFA consultent les mêmes indices pragmatiques au même degré que les enfants TD, en dépit des déficits pragmatiques divers rapportés pour cette population.

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Front Psychol. 2017 Mar 28;8:448. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00448. eCollection 2017.

Contrasting Complement Control, Temporal Adjunct Control and Controlled Verbal Gerund Subjects in ASD: The Role of Contextual Cues in Reference Assignment

Author information

Department of English Language and Linguistics, Rutherford College, School of European Culture and Languages, University of Kent Canterbury, UK.
Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, Department of Linguistics, University College London London, UK.


This study examines two complex syntactic dependencies (complement control and sentence-final temporal adjunct control) and one pragmatic dependency (controlled verbal gerund subjects) in children with ASD. Sixteen high-functioning (HFA) children (aged 6-16) with a diagnosis of autism and no language impairment, matched on age, gender and non-verbal MA to one TD control group, and on age, gender and verbal MA to another TD control group, undertook three picture-selection tasks. Task 1 measured their base-line interpretations of the empty categories (ec). Task 2 preceded these sentence sets with a weakly established topic cueing an alternative referent and Task 3 with a strongly established topic cueing an alternative referent. In complement control (Ron persuaded Hermione ec to kick the ball) and sentence-final temporal adjunct control (Harry tapped Luna while ec feeding the owl), the reference of the ec is argued to be related obligatorily to the object and subject respectively. In controlled verbal-gerund subjects (VGS) (ec Rowing the boat clumsily made Luna seasick), the ec's reference is resolved pragmatically. Referent choices across the three tasks were compared. TD children chose the object uniformly in complement control across all tasks but in adjunct control, preferences shifted toward the object in Task 3. In controlled VGSs, they exhibited a strong preference for an internal-referent interpretation in Task 1, which shifted in the direction of the cues in Tasks 2 and 3. HFA children gave a mixed performance. They patterned with their TD counterparts on complement control and controlled VGSs but performed marginally differently on adjunct control: no TD groups were influenced by the weakly established topic in Task 2 but all groups were influenced by the strongly established topic in Task 3. HFA children were less influenced than the TD children, resulting in their making fewer object choices overall but revealing parallel patterns of performance. In this first study of three sub-types of control in ASD, we demonstrate that HFA children consult the same pragmatic cues to the same degree as TD children, in spite of the diverse pragmatic deficits reported for this population.
PMID: 28400743
PMCID: PMC5369323
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00448

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