Impaired comprehension of alternating syntactic constructions in autism.
Bottom Line: This research examined the potential effects on comprehension of dative expressions that exhibited syntactic alternation versus those that were restricted, whether in syntactic construction or through marked semantic differences in construction.Construction, restriction, and semantic differentiation variables were analyzed for potential effects on the rate of accurate comprehension.Both groups performed with greater accuracy when dative expressions used a prepositional phrase than when the dative action was expressed in the syntax.
Affiliation: Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, London, UK.Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus
Mentions: The interaction effect between group and restriction approached significance with a moderate effect size (Fig. 1; F(1,34) = 3.482, P = 0.071, ηP2 = 0.093). This nearly significant result reflected an a priori hypothesis and was examined further in post hoc analysis. A one-tailed paired-samples t-test revealed a statistically reliable difference between the alternating (A: , s = 0.178) and restricted (R: , s = 0.167) conditions within the ASD group (t(17) = 2.053, P = 0.028), with better performance in the restricted condition. In the control group, there was no difference in performance on the alternating and restricted conditions, however (A: , s = 0.163; R: , s = 0.195; t(17) = 0.381, P = 0.354). There was no significant interaction effect between group and construction (F(1,34) = 2.087, P = 0.158), between restriction and construction (F(1,34) = 2.228, P = 0.145), or among group, restriction, and construction (F(1,34) = 0.012, P = 0.915). Passive sentences produced no significant results between children with ASD (, s = 0.179) and controls (, s = 0.152), with neither group performing significantly above chance.
Affiliation: Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, London, UK.