Farrell Ackerman and Jeremy Boyd
Department of Linguistics
University of California, San Diego


The prevailing perspective within theoretical (psycho)linguistics for the analysis of morphology within the Williams Syndrome population has been the Dual Mechanism Model (Pinker and Prince 1994, Clahsen 1999, Clahsen and Temple 2003, among others). According to this model, inflectional morphological phenomena are divisible into clearly identifiable regular versus irregular formations, with rule-based versus analogically-based mechanisms responsible in accounting for them, respectively. This model follows the structuralist analytic default within generative linguistic theory for morpheme-based rather than the more traditional word and paradigm based models of morphology (Stump 2001, among others).

In this talk we will explore the consequences for psycholinguistic treatments of Hungarian Williams Syndrome morphology which result from adopting the word-based morphological perspective proposed in Clahsen et. al. 2003 and further developed recently in J. P. Blevins ms. We will demonstrate how word-based assumptions lead to different questions and hypotheses concerning Williams syndrome morphology than those previously identified on the basis of morpheme-based dual mechanism assumptions. Moreover, we will argue that the word-based account fits naturally with the neuroconstructivist analysis of Williams Syndrome language development as proposed in Karmiloff-Smith et al. (2003). In order to develop this line of inquiry we provide reinterpretations for a selection of the Williams Syndrome language data found by Lukács and her coworkers (2003).