Associations and Dissociations: An Investigation of Lexical Access Deficits in Agrammatism and Anomia Since the earliest descriptions of aphasia, neurolinguists have focused on dichotomous patterns of language behavior to investigate the underlying nature of aphasic deficits. One such example is the comparison of agrammatism and anomia. Individuals with agrammatism have particular difficulty producing function words (e.g., determiners, prepositions, pronouns), whereas individuals with anomia ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2005
Associations and Dissociations: An Investigation of Lexical Access Deficits in Agrammatism and Anomia
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jean K. Gordon
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Editor’s note: Jean K. Gordon was the recipient of the 2003 Division 2 Supplement to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation Research Grant for New Investigators.
    Editor’s note: Jean K. Gordon was the recipient of the 2003 Division 2 Supplement to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation Research Grant for New Investigators.×
Article Information
Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Aphasia / Articles
Article   |   December 01, 2005
Associations and Dissociations: An Investigation of Lexical Access Deficits in Agrammatism and Anomia
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, December 2005, Vol. 15, 19-23. doi:10.1044/nnsld15.4.19
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, December 2005, Vol. 15, 19-23. doi:10.1044/nnsld15.4.19
Since the earliest descriptions of aphasia, neurolinguists have focused on dichotomous patterns of language behavior to investigate the underlying nature of aphasic deficits. One such example is the comparison of agrammatism and anomia. Individuals with agrammatism have particular difficulty producing function words (e.g., determiners, prepositions, pronouns), whereas individuals with anomia demonstrate more difficulty with content words such as nouns, verbs, and adjectives (Goodglass, 1993).
More specific dissociations have been noted within the category of content words. Agrammatic individuals have more difficulty producing verbs than nouns, but anomic individuals often show the opposite pattern (Berndt, Mitchum, Haendiges, & Sandson, 1997; Miceli, Silveri, Villa, & Caramazza, 1984; Zingeser & Berndt, 1990; but see Williams & Canter, 1987). Moreover, recent studies have suggested that individuals with fluent forms of aphasia have more difficulty retrieving specific (or “heavy”) verbs such as “run” than general (or ‘light’) verbs such as “go” (Berndt et al., 1997; Breedin, Saffran, & Schwartz, 1998; Kim, 2004; Kohn, Lorch, & Pearson, 1989), while individuals with non-fluent aphasia may show the opposite pattern or show no effect of semantic specificity (Breedin et al.; Kim & Thompson, 2004; Kohn et al.). By contrast, Kim and colleagues have found that syntactic complexity affects verb retrieval in non-fluent aphasia (Kim & Thompson, 2000; 2004), but to a lesser extent in fluent aphasia (Kim, 2004).
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