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Diagnosing Language Variations: Underlying Principles for Syntactic Assessment
15 April 2004 (online)
The assessment of complex aspects of children's syntactic development can be carried out in a dialect-neutral fashion. The item types proposed for this purpose encompass wh-questions, passives, and articles, and test the child's understanding of implicit grammatical relations, the rules governing syntactic movement, and discourse linking. We present the rationale for the items and the specific research supporting them, as well as some suggestions for how to help children who fail on the concepts to gain a better understanding of them.
Implicit information - discourse linking - double wh-questions - wh-barriers; definite versus indefinite articles - passive - hidden agents - exhaustive set - singleton answers - medial question
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Thomas W RoeperPh.D.
Professor, Department of Linguistics, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003