A Fluent Morphological Agrammatic in an Inflectional Language?

  • Jussi Niemi
  • Matti Laine
  • Päivi Koivuselkä-Sallinen
Part of the Springer Series in Neuropsychology book series (SSNEUROPSYCHOL)


A patient is presented who exhibited an unusual morphological disorder in spontaneous speech and writing. Being initially almost completely speechless she started to exhibit fluent speech coupled with a loss of bound grammatical morphemes in a richly inflected language, viz., in Finnish. Her “agrammatism” was anomalous in two respects. First, she was a fluent speaker, yet she frequently omitted inflectional affixes (cf., however, case 2 of Miceli, Mazzucchi, Menn, and Goodglass, 1983). Second, these omissions took place in a language with rich inflectional (suffixal) morphology, and it has been shown that aphasics in these type of languages typically do not omit but substitute affixes to the degree found in the speech of the present aphasic (Bates and Wulfeck, 1989; for Hebrew: Grodzinsky, 1984; Niemi, Laine, Hanninen, and Koivuselkä-Sallinen, in press; Talay and Slobin, personal communication in Bates, Friederici, and Wulfeck 1987; for Czech: Lehečková, 1988). However, Bhatnagar and Whitaker (1984) have reported a dysfluent Hindi agrammatic who often omitted verb suffixes, producing only the root or the infinitive form of the verb.


Word Order Head Noun Case Marker Nominal Phrase Prosodic Phrase 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jussi Niemi
  • Matti Laine
  • Päivi Koivuselkä-Sallinen

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