Variation in the pattern of omissions and substitutions of grammatical morphemes in the spontaneous speech of so-called agrammatic patients

Gabriele Miceli, M. Caterina Silveri, Cristina Romani, Alfonso Caramazza*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

153 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We describe the patterns of omissions (and substitutions) of freestanding grammatical morphemes and the patterns of substitutions of bound grammatical morphemes in 20 so-called agrammatic patients. Extreme variation was observed in the patterns of omissions and substitutions of grammatical morphemes, both in terms of the distribution of errors for different grammatical morphemes as well as in terms of the distribution of omissions versus substitutions. Results are discussed in the context of current debates concerning the possibility of a theoretically motivated distinction between the clinical categories of agrammatism and paragrammatism and, more generally, concerning the theoretical usefulness of any clinical category. The conclusion is reached that the observed heterogeneity in the production of grammatical morphemes among putatively agrammatic patients renders the clinical category of agrammatism, and by extension all other clinical categories from the classical classification scheme (e.g., Broca's aphasia, Wernicke's aphasia, and so forth) to more recent classificatory attempts (e.g., surface dyslexia, deep dysgraphia, and so forth), theoretically useless.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-492
Number of pages46
JournalBrain and Language
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

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