Case in Aphasia

Monique Lamers and Esther Ruigendijk

in The Oxford Handbook of Case

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780199206476
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

 Case in Aphasia

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  • Linguistics
  • Cognitive Linguistics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology


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Case provides the language user with a rich source of information for conveying meaningful messages in natural language use. Psycholinguistic research has shown that in the intact human language system, the morphologically realised case might help to distinguish the arguments, identify the syntactic function, and trigger certain parsing mechanisms, such as attachment decisions, establishing phrase boundaries, and, thus, providing essential information for comprehension. The question arises if and how a disturbance of the language system as in aphasia affects this ability to use case information. This article starts with a brief introduction to aphasiology, sketching the language problems known to characterise the different aphasic syndromes. It then discusses some important accounts for the aphasic impairment in language comprehension, either directly addressing morphological case in the impaired language system or highly related issues, such as the comprehension of canonical and non-canonical sentences. For production, the emphasis is on cross-linguistic findings on the realisation of case-marked entities such as demonstrative pronouns and pronouns.

Keywords: case; aphasia; aphasiology; language comprehension; morphological case; pronouns

Article.  6598 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Cognitive Linguistics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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