Send to

Choose Destination
Brain Lang. 2016 Sep;160:61-70. doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2016.07.005. Epub 2016 Aug 1.

A verbal strength in children with Tourette syndrome? Evidence from a non-word repetition task.

Author information

Centre for Research in Linguistics and Language Sciences, Newcastle University, United Kingdom. Electronic address:
The Roxelyn and Richard Pepper Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University, United States.
Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins University, United States.
Brain and Language Lab, Department of Neuroscience, Georgetown University, United States. Electronic address:


Tourette syndrome (TS) is characterized by motor and vocal tics, and frontal/basal-ganglia abnormalities. Whereas cognitive strengths have been found in other neurodevelopmental disorders, less attention has been paid to strengths in TS, or to verbal strengths in any neurodevelopmental disorder. We examined whether the finding of speeded TS production of rule-governed morphological forms (e.g., "slipped") that involve composition (Walenski, Mostofsky, & Ullman, 2007) might extend to another language domain, phonology. Thirteen children with TS and 14 typically-developing (TD) children performed a non-word repetition task: they repeated legal phonological strings (e.g.,"naichovabe"), a task that taps rule-governed (de)composition. Parallel to the morphology findings, the children with TS showed speeded production, while the two groups had similar accuracy. The results were not explained by potentially confounding factors, including IQ. Overall, the findings suggest that rule-governed grammatical composition may be speeded in TS, perhaps due to frontal/basal-ganglia abnormalities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center