Primary progressive aphasia: A patient with stress assignment impairment in reading aloud

E. Galante, A. Tralli, M. Zuffi, S. Avanzi

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Surface dyslexia is a pattern of reading impairment which has been seldom described in Italian native speakers. We report the case of a female Italian patient, RM, suffering from primary progressive aphasia (PPA) of the fluent type, who presented stress assignment errors in reading aloud. In Italian these errors are considered to be strongly suggestive of surface dyslexia. We studied RM's reading performance in light of existing cognitive models on reading. Since the first assessment, she presented multi-level impairment involving pre-semantic, lexical-semantic and post-semantic stages. Her stress assignment errors have been interpreted as a generalisation of the most frequent tendency in Italian language: namely to assign stress to the penultimate syllable. In agreement with previous studies, our case suggests that surface dyslexia in PPA is not a monolithic entity but, on the contrary, that it may arise from impairment at various stages of the reading process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-48
Number of pages10
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Primary progressive aphasia
  • Surface dyslexia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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