Original Research

A linguistic approach to the detection of minimal language dysfunction in aphasia

Claire Penn
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Journal of the South African Speech and Hearing Association: Vol 21, No 1 | a397 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v21i1.397 | © 2019 Claire Penn | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 November 2016 | Published: 31 December 1974

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Claire Penn, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

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Linguistic tests, based on an expressive language sample and clinical tests of aphasia, were administered to a minimally impaired aphasic subject in an attempt to compare their relative utility and sensitivity. Tests based on a linguistic framework were found to be far more sensitive to the errors in the subject's language than traditional clinical tests. Specifically, the linguistic tests isolated difficulties with the processing of deep structure relations of complex sentences. Various reasons for the results are suggested and some points are made regarding the validation of theoretical constructs through aphasic language data. A suggested model for the classification, testing and therapy of aphasic disorders, based on linguistic theory, is postulated.


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