Resumption in the production of focused constructions in Akan speakers with agrammatism

Nathaniel Lartey*, Frank Tsiwah, Clement Amponsah, Silvia Martinez Ferreiro, Roelien Bastiaanse

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Abstract

    Background: The distribution of pronouns varies cross-linguistically. This distribution has led to conflicting results in studies that investigated pronoun resolution in agrammatic indviduals. In the investigation of pronominal resolution, the linguistic phenomenon of "resumption" is understudied in agrammatism. The construction of pronominal resolution in Akan presents the opportunity to thoroughly examine resumption. Aims: To start, the present study examines the production of (pronominal) resumption in Akan focus constructions (who-questions and focused declaratives). Second, we explore the effect of grammatical tone on the processing of pronominal (resumption) since Akan is a tonal language. Methods & Procedures: First, we tested the ability to distinguish linguistic and non-linguistic tone in Akan agrammatic speakers. Then, we administered an elicitation task to five Akan agrammatic individuals, controlling for the structural variations in the realization of resumption: focused who-questions and declaratives with (i) only a resumptive pronoun, (ii) only a clause determiner, (iii) a resumptive pronoun and a clause determiner co-occurring, and (iv) neither a resumptive pronoun nor a clause determiner. Outcomes & Results: Tone discrimination .both for pitch and for lexical tone was unimpaired. The production task demonstrated that the production of resumptive pronouns and clause determiners was intact. However, the production of declarative sentences in derived word order was impaired; wh-object questions were relatively well-preserved. Conclusions: We argue that the problems with sentence production are highly selective: linguistic tones and resumption are intact but word order is impaired in non-canonical declarative sentences.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)343-364
    Number of pages22
    JournalAphasiology
    Volume34
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2-Mar-2020

    Keywords

    • VERB-ARGUMENT STRUCTURE
    • SENTENCE PRODUCTION
    • FUNCTIONAL CATEGORIES
    • QUESTION PRODUCTION
    • PRODUCTION DEFICITS
    • LEXICAL TONES
    • WH-QUESTIONS
    • COMPREHENSION
    • APHASIA
    • AGREEMENT

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