The Aphasiology Archive
University Library System, University of Pittsburgh

Two characteristics of agrammatic speech: Omission of verbs and omission of determiners, is there a relation?

Ruigendijk, Esther and Bastiaanse, Roelien
Two characteristics of agrammatic speech: Omission of verbs and omission of determiners, is there a relation?. Aphasiology, 16(4-6), 2002, pages 383-395.


Background: Telegraphic speech of individuals with Broca's aphasia has been described as lacking verbs and determiners (and other function words). In theoretical linguistics, it has been suggested that a determiner cannot be realised in sentences without a (finite) verb. This led to the hypothesis that determiner omission in agrammatic speech is related to verb omission: once a verb is used, determiners will be produced. Aims: The aim of the present study is to show that determiner omission in agrammatic speech production is related to verb production problems. Methods & Procedures: The free speech production of 10 German agrammatic speakers was analysed. Additionally, they were presented with two experimental tasks: one in which a determiner and noun should be inserted in a sentence, and one in which a sentence should be produced, with the lexical verb provided. It was analysed whether the poor determiner production in free speech improved when the verb was given (as in the experiments). Outcomes & Results: All participants omitted verbs and determiners in free speech. On the experimental tasks, however, when they were presented with a verb, determiner production increased significantly. Conclusion: The results show that the production of determiners strongly depends on the production of verbs. Therefore, the lack of verbs and the lack of determiners in agrammatic speech production cannot be seen separately: the impaired use of determiners is not caused by poor production of function words in general, but by problems with the production of verbs.

EPrint Type:Journal (Paginated)
ID Code:1195
Conference:Clinical Aphasiology Conference: Clinical Aphasiology Conference (2001 : 31st : Santa Fe, NM : May 29-June 2, 2001)
Conference Date:May 29-June 2, 2001
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
Publication Location:London
Alternative Locations:,
Additional Information:Access to Full Text is subject to the Publisher's access restrictions