Broca's aphasia, verbs and the mental lexicon

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Verb production is notoriously difficult for individuals with Broca's aphasia, both at the word and at the sentence level. An intriguing question is at which level in the speech production these problems arise. The aim of the present study is to identify the functional locus of the impairment that results in verb production deficits in Broca's aphasia. Levelt's (1989) model is used as a theoretical framework for this study. Two experiments have been conducted, one on verb movement and one on verbs with alternating transitivity. The results suggest that the functional impairment in Broca's aphasia should be located in Levelt's “grammatical encoder.”

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