Primary progressive aphasia in a bilingual speaker: A single-case study

Sergio Zanini, Valentina Angeli, Alessandro Tavano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report on the case of an elderly bilingual woman presenting with a diagnosis of primary progressive aphasia. The participant's native language was Friulian (L1), a predominantly oral Romance language, and her second language was Italian (L2), formally learned at primary school in oral and written forms. We investigated her linguistic abilities by means of the Bilingual Aphasia Test ( Paradis, M., & Libben, G. (1987). The assessment of bilingual aphasia. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates), which is specifically devised for studying language levels and skills in bilingual/polyglot individuals with aphasia. Specifically, we focused on different tasks extracted from the Bilingual Aphasia Test, targeting phonology, morphology, syntax and lexical semantics. Results show that both languages were affected to a clinically significant degree, but with different profiles in terms of linguistic levels, suggesting the presence of greater phonological, morphological, grammatical and syntactic impairments in L2. Results are discussed in terms of possible dissociations both within the language system of each language and between languages, within the Procedural/Declarative theoretical framework of language acquisition in bilinguals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-564
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Linguistics and Phonetics
Issue number6-7
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


  • aphasia
  • assessment
  • bilingualism
  • primary progressive aphasia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing
  • Medicine(all)


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