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Original scientific paper

Maja Balija, Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, Zagreb

Gordana Hržica, Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, Zagreb

Jelena Kuvač Kraljević, Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, Zagreb



Embedded subordinate clauses such as relative clauses belong to the final stage of language
development in children and are, therefore, highly debated within psycholinguistics. According
to the generative theory, a number of syntactic procedures are required in order to comprehend
or produce these structures; e.g. syntactic movement and trace, thematic role assignment to the
moved element and co–indexing elements of the relative clause. The acquisition of these structures
is late, at the early school age. For children with SLI relative clauses are an insurmountable
challenge. This study shows significant differences in the production of relative clauses in
children with SLI, which emphasize the diagnostic value of these syntactic structures.


Key words

relative clauses, sentence acquisition, sentence production, children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI)


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