Aphasia as a source of knowledge regarding the functioning of language
A B S T R A C T
The evidence concerning the neurophysiological organization of language can be obtained only indirectly, with one of the most important sources being aphasia. In this paper, I present some results from my long-term neurolinguistic research. First, I survey the manifestation of aphasia in different languages and offer a linguistic interpretation of these data. I argue that it is the typological character of the language which influences the symptoms. My cross-linguistic study showed that the decisive factors for evaluating aphasia in a language are: (a) the number of grammatical words; (b) the way in which grammatical morphemes are connected to the stem; (c) the extent of paradigms. I then focus on the grammatical errors in the spontaneous speech of Czech aphasics and discuss: (1) the distribution of errors among grammatical categories; (2) the hierarchy of forms within each category. Finally, I present a synthesis of the morpho-syntactic aphasic symptoms in Czech. The aim of my work is not only to describe aphasia, but also to shed some light on the functioning of language under aggravated conditions.
Key words: aphasia, agrammatism, typology
Klíčová slova: afázie, agramatismus, typologie
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Department of Slavonic and Baltic Languages and Literatures
University of Helsinki, Finland
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