Conditional and future tense impairment in non-fluent aphasia

Adrià Rofes*, Roelien Bastiaanse, Silvia Martínez-Ferreiro

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Morphological errors of tense and agreement are salient in agrammatic aphasia. The PADILIH predicts impairments in discourse linking that translate to greater difficulties in referring to a past event time than to a future or a present event time. In Catalan, the Periphrastic conditional tense (e.g., "if the man had had time, he would have.") refers to the past and the Simple conditional tense refers to the future (e.g., "if the man had time, he would."). These two tenses refer to an event that may happen (irrealis).Aims: We fill in the gap of the conditional tense and provide further data to study contrasts in verb inflection for time reference. We predict that verb forms that refer to an irrealis past event (Periphrastic conditional) are more impaired than forms that refer to an irrealis future event (Simple conditional and Future). We also predict that there are no differences between verb forms that refer to an irrealis future event (Simple conditional and Future). We also assessed whether problems in time reference extend to individuals with non-fluent aphasia that are not typical agrammatic Broca aphasia.Methods & Procedures: A sentence completion task that included 60 sentences (20 per type) of equal length in a Conditional structure (if-sentences) was designed. We tested three sentence types: Periphrastic conditional, Simple conditional and Future. The task was administered to nine participants with non-fluent aphasia and nine age-matched non-brain-damaged participants.Outcomes & Results: The Control group scored at ceiling on the three sentence types. Participants with non-fluent aphasia were most impaired in the production of the Periphrastic conditional as compared with the Simple conditional and the Future.Conclusions: When irrealis event times are compared, past events are more impaired than future events. These results can be explained by a deficit in time reference as predicted by the PADILIH. Our data reveal that the predictions of the PADILIH also hold for non-fluent speakers who have been diagnosed with Transcortical motor aphasia.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)99-115
    Number of pages17
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


    • Catalan
    • Conditional tense
    • Future tense
    • Irrealis
    • Non-fluent aphasia
    • Realis
    • Time reference


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