Non-fluent aphasia in Ibero-Romance: A review of morphosyntactic deficits

Silvia Martínez-Ferreiro*, Vânia de Aguiar, Adrià Rofes

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Castilian-Spanish, Catalan, Galician, and European Portuguese are the most widely spoken languages of the Ibero-Romance group. An increasing number of authors have addressed the impact of aphasia on the morphosyntax of these varieties. However, accurate linguistic characterisations are scarce and the different sources of data have not been yet compiled.

    Aims: To stimulate state-of-the-art research, we provided a comprehensive summary of morphosyntactic aspects of Ibero-Romance and a review of how these are affected in non-fluent aphasia. The topics we dealt with are the use of verb argument structure and morphology, sentential negation and word order, definite articles, personal and reflexive pronouns, passives, topicalised constructions, questions, and relative clauses.

    Methods & Procedures: An exhaustive fieldwork and search of PubMed, Web of Science, and Medline records were performed to retrieve studies focused on morphosyntactic issues concerning the Ibero-Romance varieties. A total of 27 studies produced by 46 authors of varying background emerged. We did not review studies of category-specific deficits and aspects related to bilingual aphasia, although we assume that most speakers of Galician and Catalan are bilingual. Studies of spontaneous speech were included when no controlled experimental tasks were available.

    Outcomes & Results: The morphosyntactic commonalities of Ibero-Romance have been tackled from different theoretical perspectives. There exist asymmetries in findings which we explain with the use of different tasks (and task complexity) and individual differences between participants.

    Conclusions: Discourse-linking factors as well as deviations from the canonical pattern are recurrent answers to these asymmetries. A comprehensive theory of impairments in non-fluent aphasia integrating relevant aspects of both structural and processing accounts seems necessary.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)101-126
    Number of pages26
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • Ibero-Romance
    • morphosyntax
    • non-fluent aphasia


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