Original Research

Apraxia of Speech in a Bilingual Speaker: Perceptual Characteristics and Generalisation of non-language Specific Treatment

Anita van der Merwe, Herman Tesner
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 47, No 2 | a981 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v47i2.981 | © 2023 Anita van der Merwe, Herman Tesner | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 March 2023 | Published: 31 December 2000

About the author(s)

Anita van der Merwe, Department of Communication Pathology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Herman Tesner, Department of Communication Pathology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Full Text:



Speech production in a second (or third) language in the case of late bilingualism (or multilingualism) is probably motorically more complex than in the first language and greater demands are placed on the speech sensorimotor control system. In the case of defective speech motor planning due to brain damage, this will be particularly true, but to date no studies have been done on bilingual apraxia of speech. In this study the perceptual speech characteristics of a first-language Afrikaans-speaking apraxic person were studied in both Afrikaans and English and also generalisation of improvement after the application of non-language specific treatment aimed at improving speech motor planning abilities. The results indicated that similar perceptual characteristics occurred in both languages, but the problem in the second language was more severe. Improvement occurred in both languages indicating generalisation to the second language. The theoretical and clinical implications of the results are discussed.


apraxia of speech; bilingual; perceptual characteristics; treatment


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Crossref Citations

1. Temporal parameters of speech production in bilingual speakers with apraxic or phonemic paraphasic errors
Karin Theron, Anita van der Merwe, Donald A. Robin, Emily Groenewald
Aphasiology  vol: 23  issue: 5  first page: 557  year: 2009  
doi: 10.1080/02687030701801717