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Am J Speech Lang Pathol. 2008 Aug;17(3):299-317. doi: 10.1044/1058-0360(2008/026).

Bilingual aphasia: a theoretical and clinical review.

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Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, 200 South Jordan Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47405-7002, USA.



To provide an overview of the potential bilingual client population in the United States, present current neurolinguistic and psycholinguistic views of bilingualism in adults with and without aphasia, review related bilingual aphasia recovery patterns and the factors that might influence these recovery patterns, and provide insight into diagnostic and therapy procedures for addressing the needs of bilingual clients with aphasia.


A review of the literature was conducted to summarize and synthesize previously published research in the area of bilingual aphasia, highlight unique aspects of aphasia recovery, assessment, and treatment, and identify areas in need of future research.


Despite a growing understanding of bilingualism and the various recovery patterns identified with bilingual aphasia, there remains a dire need for empirically validated management techniques, particularly in terms of determining which language to target, identifying which aspects of various languages are most vulnerable to insult as well as most responsive to treatment, and establishing how to exploit language similarities to maximize treatment efficiency.

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