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date: 30 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses a number of developmental disorders that impact language acquisition, and their possible relevance to understanding how language is typically acquired. The chapter begins with a discussion of whether language can be selectively impaired relative to general cognitive abilities, and whether it can be selectively spared. The second half of the chapter discusses how exactly language does and does not “go wrong.” The topics include the relevance of “deviance” and whether there is any evidence for it, and a discussion of the critical importance of both cross-disorder comparisons of the same linguistic phenomena, and of cross-linguistic comparisons of children with the same disorder.

Keywords: developmental disorders, language impairment, language acquisition, selective impairment, cross-linguistic

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