Nonadjacent Dependency Learning Across Domains in Typically Developing Children and Poor Readers
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Frequency has been demonstrated to be of great influence in language learning (a.o. Gómez 2002). Language development might be influenced by a deficiency in the ability to derive rules from frequent input. In fact, such a deficiency could even account for certain problems people with dyslexia experience in language. The proposed study set out to provide more insight into children’s sensitivity to frequent patterns in (artificial) language and in the auditory non-linguistic domain. Based on Gómez (2002), Dutch school-aged children were presented with two nonadjacent dependency learning tasks. Neither typically developing children nor poor readers appeared to be sensitive to nonadjacent dependencies of the linguistic or non-linguistic type. Because the findings are likely to be influenced by several methodological factors, no clear conclusions can be drawn about the participants’ capacity to learn nonadjacent dependencies from frequent input.