Aphasia; an impairment of language function

Topics: Language, Linguistics, Word Pages: 4 (1385 words) Published: April 21, 2015
Aphasia is an impairment of language function commonly due to a stroke which results in damage in the language centre of the brain. Specific patterns of impairment and preservation of written and spoken language in aphasia patients are of psychological value because it defines separate processes within healthy language function. Pure forms of abstract word meaning deafness is a very rare form of aphasia, defined by a pattern of impaired auditory comprehension of words, but intact written and repetition ability’s. The ability to comprehend words processed non-auditory, suggests that the central semantic representation of words is intact, but the auditory lexicon input is detached from previous semantic knowledge. This results in a patient’s ability to process speech sounds, and reproduce them both orally and to dictation but have no comprehension of the words meaning. Allport and Funnel (1981) argued this selective impairment to be of “great theoretical significance” because it indicates that there must be separate processes for written language and phonological encoding, otherwise written comprehension would be just as impaired as auditory comprehension, in all cases of aphasia. This essay will explore a case study of abstract word meaning deafness, firstly by describing how the case study was conducted and what pattern of results was found. The text will then evaluate whether the findings reliably imply a separate proses for phonological input and written abstract word processing through orthographic analysis, therefore providing evidence for Patterson & Shewell’s (1987) argument for auditory and visual processes in their lexical processing model. Finally this discussion will weigh the strength of the experiments findings and claimed implications, against issues of method, alternative implications and additional research to form a developed conclusion on how far abstract word meaning deafness can reliably illuminate functions of healthy language. Franklin S,...
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