Aphasia on a linguistic perspective Erica Evers
Location of Language in the brain Language is said to acquire in both the right and the left hemisphere. Right Hemisphere Functions: Intonation, pragmatic, and contextual Left Hemisphere Functions: grammar/vocabulary and literal Parts of the Brain consist of the frontal lobe, temporal lobe, occipital lobe, parietal lobe, cerebellum. The main two parts for major types of aphasia are located in the frontal and the temporal lobe.
What is aphasia? Is a language disorder that results in brain damage caused by disease or trauma” (Fromkin, Rodman, Hyams 46).
terms Lateralization-is the term to be used when defining the function to one hemisphere of the brain Anomia-not being able to find the word that one wishes to say
Wernicke’s Area Characteristics: Produce fluent speech and intonation Semantically (meaning) incoherent Difficulty naming objects in front of them Difficulty choosing words in spontaneous speech Lexical Errors (word substitutions) Produces Jargon and nonsense words.
Boston classification of aphasia Broca’s Fluency in spontaneous speech is impaired Repetition is limited Naming is limited Comprehension is intact Wernicke’s Fluency in spontaneous speech is intact Repetition is impaired Naming is impaired Comprehension is impaired
Conclusion Overall Aphasia causes semantic errors orally, written, and dictation. Each patient is different. Some have less errors than others. Damage to the Wernicke’s area is more semantically incoherent than the Broca’s, but can be present in any location of the brain. Could cause depression and other altered behavior.
Phonology Errors in phonological status affects the vowel length and the sonority (producing sound.) Tendency to simplify consonant clusters. Hard time distinguishing between voiced and voiceless. for example: pet and bet.
Syntax Within syntactical aphasia many patients have a hard time understanding complex sentences. Broca’s area suffer from the lack of syntax Agrammatic (lacks articles, prepositions, pronouns, aux verbs) Omits inflectional morphemes EXAMPLE: Doctor: Could you tell me what you have been doing in the hospital? Patient: Yes, sure. Me go, er, uh, P.T. (physical therapy) none o’cot, speech….two times….read…r…..ripe…..rike….uh….write…practice…get…ting….better.
Terms of recovery of bilingual aphasia Parallel Recovery-the strength of the language before the aphasia recovers in the same way. Example English Native and French as an L2. English would return the stronger one. Differential-one language is recovered stronger than the other one before the aphasia. Blending-uncontrollable mixing of grammar of both languages with the intent of only speaking one. Selective-language loss only in one language Successive-language recovery in one language.
Cases 34 year old woman-mother tongue Hungarian. Spoke French as a child. English as an adolescent and Hebrew from age 19. Removal of posterior temporal tumor. Exhibited symptoms of Broca’s in English. Wernicke’s in Hebrew and intermediate symptoms in the other two.
Cases A 47 year old male with native tongue of Hungarian also spoke Hebrew, Polish, Rumanian, Yiddish, German, and English. After removing a cyst on his left parietal lobe the patient exhibited severe deficits in all languages except English in which he was fluent with some word-finding difficulties. His comprehension for English, Hungarian, German and Yiddish were good, but very poor in Rumanian, Hebrew and Polish.
Conclusion of bilingual aphasia It is not definite in these cases why some languages were recovered. Some say the structure of the language have something to do with it, but overall it is a new study. It is important to treat it by attempting to recover each language individually. A hypothesis and some MRI’s say that it is possible that L2 and L3 languages are stored in a different hemisphere than the L1.
Overall People can recover from aphasia, but in bilinguals each individual language needs to be separate. Each person with aphasia has a unique case and in bilinguals it is not definite what language will recover first, but the theory is that the native tongue will return first. Language plays a major role in our lives and without the ability to communicate fully is very difficult and can lead to depression. Aphasia affects people’s oral and written ability to produce language.
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