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Brain Lang. 2004 Apr;89(1):142-56.

Comprehension of sentences with stylistic inversion by French aphasic patients.

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Laboratoire Langage et Cognition, CNRS UMR 6096, France.


Three French-speaking agrammatic aphasics and three French-speaking Conduction aphasics were tested for comprehension of Active, Passive, Cleft-Subject, Cleft-Object, and Cleft-Object sentences with Stylistic Inversion using an object manipulation test. The agrammatic patients consistently reversed thematic roles in the latter sentence type, and the Conduction aphasics performed at chance. The results are discussed in relationship to existing models of aphasic impairments in assigning syntactic structures and using them to determine thematic roles in sentences. We conclude that the results for the agrammatic patients demonstrate the importance of compensatory mechanisms underlying aphasic comprehension and the results in the Conduction aphasics indicate the importance of working memory deficits in determining such deficits. The results are also relevant to models of normal syntactic structure.

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