According to a famous definition by Noam Chomsky, syntax is the study of the principles and processes by which sentences are constructed in particular languages. In individuals with acquired or developmental language disorders, the ability to construct or comprehend sentences by applying these syntactic principles and processes is often affected. The ensuing syntactic disorder may be so severe that affected individuals produce utterances that consist only of single words, lacking syntactic structure altogether. An example would be the utterance fussball (soccer) as the description of a picture of two children playing soccer, produced by a 12-year-old German boy with Down syndrome. More often, however, syntactic disorders result in the production of non-targetlike, incorrect syntactic structures.

In spontaneous speech production, syntactic disorders typically result in utterances that ...

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