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Broca's Region$
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Yosef Grodzinsky and Katrin Amunts

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195177640

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195177640.001.0001

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Weak Syntax

Weak Syntax

(p.49) 4 Weak Syntax
Broca's Region

Sergey Avrutin

Oxford University Press

This chapter outlines a new approach to the investigation of aphasics' linguistic errors. The model represents a further development of ideas outlined in Avrutin (1999). It shows that damage to Broca's region diminishes the amount of resources necessary for conducting operations involving narrow syntax. This causes a slowdown in the process of speech production. Moreover, reduced power of this system (a direct consequence of diminished resources) may result in the situation where alternative systems become more powerful and therefore are used for the purposes of building information structure in comprehension or encoding a message. Impairment in Broca's aphasia is not limited to structures involving constituent movement (e.g., passive constructions, object relative clauses). Comprehension of pronouns and other determiners causes difficulties as well. Slow, effortful, telegraphic speech is characteristic of the same patients who demonstrate problems with comprehension of certain elements.

Keywords:   Broca's aphasia, Broca's region, linguistic theory, linguistics, pronouns, telegraphic speech

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