The head the construct: Construct state nominals as a novel window to syntactic movement difficulties in hearing impairment

Naama Friedmann, Ronit Szterman, Adriana Belletti, Luigi Rizzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Children with hearing-impairment often show difficulties related to different kinds of syntactic movement. According to current syntactic analyses, Hebrew construct state nominals (CSN involve syntactic movement, in which the noun moves to the determiner position. This kind of movement has never been tested in individuals with hearing-impairment. In this study we examined how Hebrew-speaking hearing-impaired children produce definite CSNs. A well-functioning movement of N to D prevents an overt determiner before the head of the definite CSN, and therefore we took the (incorrect addition of a determiner before the head noun as an indication of a difficulty in moving the N to D. The participants were 32 children with hearing-impairment aged 9;1-12;2 whose performance was compared to 18 hearing children aged 8;10-10;7. We tested their oral reading of 63 CSNs in texts. The results showed that the children with hearing-impairment had a remarkable difficulty in reading the CSNs. The most noticeable error they made was that they incorrectly added a determiner before the head of the definite CSN, in addition to the determiner preceding the complement of the noun. The hearing control children virtually never made this error. Since the D position before the head should not be available if the noun had moved to D, we concluded that they could not properly move the noun to D. This illustrates, for the first time, a deficit in N-to-D movement in this population. The difficulty in N-to-D movement in the nominal domain is consistent with these children's difficulties in other movement-derived structures in the clausal domain such as object A-bar movement and V-to-C movement. More broadly, these results support a movement analysis of CSN.

Original languageEnglish
Article number674
JournalGlossa
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Construct state nominals
  • Determiner
  • Hearing impairment
  • Hebrew
  • Syntactic movement

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The head the construct: Construct state nominals as a novel window to syntactic movement difficulties in hearing impairment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this