Syntactic priming as a window to investigate grammatical learning in non-typical populations

Maria Garraffa, Guiditta Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Syntactic priming is a useful tool for investigating grammatical learning in both children and adults with language impairment. The studies discussed in this chapter combine psycholinguistic methods and theoretical approaches for advancing our knowledge of language pathologies, elucidating some of the mechanisms of grammatical learning that could be at the core of the language impairment. The first part of the chapter discusses experimental studies on syntactic priming in children with a developmental language disorder (DLD), with a focus on the learning mechanisms that support the acquisition of grammatical structures in these children, structures that are otherwise rare in input and output. The second part of the chapter discusses the use of priming in the investigation of acquired language disorders in adults, when language has already been acquired and access is assumed to be the chief problem.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSyntactic Priming in Language Acquisition
Subtitle of host publicationRepresentations, Mechanisms and Applications
EditorsKatherine Messenger
PublisherJohn Benjamins
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9789027257376
ISBN (Print)ISBN 9789027211637
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameTrends in Language Acquisition Research
ISSN (Print)1569-0644


  • Aphasia
  • Developmental Language Disorder (DLD)
  • clinical marker
  • cumulative learning
  • immediate priming
  • implicit learning
  • passive
  • relative clauses
  • sentence repetition
  • syntactic priming

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