Agrammatic Brocas Aphasia Case Study

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The purpose of this paper is to examine the linguistic problems of aphasic speakers of Finnish. The focus is on Broca's and Wernicke's aphasia. First, we present an overview of the special characteristics of the grammar of Finnish. Secondly, there is a discussion of previous studies on aphasic speakers of Finnish. Thirdly, we present an analysis of our data from conversation and picture description task by speakers with Broca's and Wernicke's aphasia. The analysis focuses on case marking, subject-verb agreement, word order and the expression of tense in the speech of Finnish aphasics. As a whole, many linguistic features are preserved both in Broca's and Wernicke's aphasia. Even the neologistic words in Wernicke's aphasia are appropriately inflected. However, our findings suggest that aphasic errors are not always systematic and furthermore, they may be context-dependent. For example, Broca's aphasics produced case marking and agreement patterns in some contexts correctly, whereas in some other contexts they were produced erroneously. The word order patterns were similar to those found in conversational discourse in general. However, it is sometimes impossible to give a definitive analysis of the word order or structure of a given grammatical construction. This is due to the fact that sentence structure is sometimes badly distorted both in Broca's and Wernicke's aphasic cases because of difficulty in finding lexical content words. We conclude with a comparison of our findings with previous studies of Finnish aphasics, proposing some methodological implications for further studies.

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