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so-called Tree Pruning Hypothesis ..

The Tree Pruning Hypothesis

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Question production in agrammatism: the tree pruning hypothesis

Where Bastiaanse and colleagues restrict their theory to verb movement, others suggest that production deficits in agrammatism can be predicted by the position that certain structures occupy in the syntactic tree. , for example, suggests that the CP-node is impaired in agrammatic aphasia and, therefore, that no functional projection can be realized in C. However, this implies that verb movement in Dutch should be unimpaired (although there are linguists who assume that the finite verb in Dutch moves to C and not to I). Similarly, the tree pruning hypothesis, advanced by Friedmann (; ), postulates that functional projections to both C and I are impaired, but that C is more impaired than I. The findings of Bastiaanse and Van Zonneveld could be interpreted within this framework in that verb movement to I is impaired. However, for English this means that the production of finite lexical verbs (that remain in V) should be less impaired than the production of finite auxiliaries (that are base-generated in I), which should be less impaired than production of moved finite auxiliaries (that are moved to C). This latter hierarchy would not be expected on our verb movement theory. Rather, the verb movement hypothesis predicts that for English speaking agrammatic patients production of finite lexical verbs and finite auxiliaries in declarative sentences should be equally impaired (or intact), since they do not move (overtly); however, auxiliaries in yes/no questions should be more difficult to produce than non-moved auxiliaries and finite lexical verbs. The second study presented here evaluates this hypothesis.

are tense and agreement dissociated as predicted by the Tree-Pruning Hypothesis (Friedmann and …

According to Friedmann (; ) the syntactic tree is pruned in I, between the node for tense (TP) and the node for Agreement (AgrSP), suggesting that AUX-in-I should be more impaired than V-in-V. However, the present data show that there is no difference between the production of V-in-V and AUX-in-I in English. A possible solution to this problem is to assume, as Friedmann does, that the finite lexical verb always needs to move to I, if not overtly (such as in the Dutch matrix clause), then covertly (after Spell Out). In this way, one expects the finite lexical verb and the auxiliary to be equally impaired, since both are in I. This is not an elegant solution for two reasons. First, if one expects the syntactic tree to be impaired or inaccessible from I up, then there is no reason to expect a difference between AUX-in-I and AUX-in-C, unless one accepts a gradual disorder, something like ‘the higher in the tree, the more difficult.’ The second, and in our view more convincing reason not to assume that covert verb movement is impaired, is the relatively good performance of the Dutch agrammatic speakers in the embedded clause. If one accepts a notion such as covert movement for English, then one should accept the same for Dutch embedded clauses. Similarly, if one assumes that covert verb movement is problematic for agrammatic speakers, then this should be the case for both English and Dutch. This is contradicted by the data from the first study (and data published earlier by ) that show a discrepancy between finite verb production in the matrix and the embedded clause. Specifically, Dutch agrammatic aphasic speakers are significantly better at producing object–finite verb strings in which the verb is not (overtly) moved than in producing finite verb–object strings in which the finite verb has been moved to I.

the tree pruning hypothesis, ..

Friedmann N, Grodzinsky Y. Tense and agreement in agrammatic production:pruning the syntactic tree. Brain Lang 1997;56(3): 397-425.

Among such theories are the Tree Pruning Hypothesis (Friedmann & Grodzinsky,1997) which argues that verbs inflected for tense are impaired due to their higher position in the syntactic tree.

Verb production in agrammatic Broca’s aphasia has repeatedly been shown to be impaired by a number of investigators. Not only is the number of verbs produced often significantly reduced, but verb inflections and auxiliaries are often omitted as well (e.g., ; ; , ). It has been suggested that these problems are, in part, caused by the fact that finite verbs need to be moved from their base-generated position to inflectional nodes in the syntactic tree (e.g., ). Others have suggested that production deficits in agrammatism can be predicted based on the position that certain structures take in the syntactic tree (; ). If the former theory is correct, several predictions can be made. First of all, the discrepancy between production of finite verbs in the matrix and embedded clause that has been found for Dutch () should not be observed in English, since the word order of the matrix and embedded clause are the same in the latter language. Second, if verb movement (including movement of auxiliaries) is problematic for speakers with agrammatic aphasia, then a hierarchy in the production of auxiliaries in yes/no questions, auxiliaries, and finite verbs in declarative sentences in English would be expected, since the former has been moved and the two latter are in base-generated position. In the present paper, these hypotheses were tested in a cross-linguistic study of Dutch and English. Results showed the position in the syntactic tree does not predict deficit patterns; rather the critical factor appears to relate to whether or not verb or auxiliary movement is required.

the validity of the tree-pruning hypothesis ..

The analysis method is the Tree Pruning Hypothesis ..

The Tree Pruning Hypothesis (TPH) suggests that the syntactic deficit in production can be described in terms of inability to access the high nodes of the syntactic tree.

The Tree Pruning Hypothesis ..
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