Syntactic comprehension deficits in agrammatism

C. Luzzatti, A. Toraldo, G. Ghirardi, L. Lorenzi, C. Guarnaschelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Eleven agrammatic and 16 fluent aphasic patients were given a comprehension task consisting of simple, active and passive reversible sentences. The purpose of the study is to reconsider the comprehension disorders in agrammatism and particularly of passive reversible sentences, to test to what extent Grodzinsky's trace deletion hypothesis (TDH) is generalizable to other types of NP-movement, and finally to ascertain whether the pattern of impairment observed in agrammatism differs from that of fluent aphasic patients. The study confirms that trace analysis may be selectively impaired in agrammatism. However, this deficit is not the only mechanism underlying comprehension disorders and cannot be said to occur in all agrammatic patients. Comprehension disorders also involve the processing of clitic object pronouns which also underly NP-movement. Finally, the impairment found in fluent aphasic patient differs, both in type and severity, from that of agrammatic patients, thus confirming the peculiar aspects of the agrammatic comprehension deficit suggested by Grodzinsky's TDH. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-324
Number of pages6
JournalBrain and Cognition
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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