This critical history of research on acquired language deficits (aphasias) demonstrates the usefulness of linguistic analysis of aphasic syndrome for neuropsychology, linguistics, and psycholinguistics. Drawing on new empirical studies, Grodzinsky concludes that the use of grammatical tools for the description of the aphasias is critical. The selective nature of these deficits offers a novel view into the inner workings of our language faculty and the mechanisms that support it.
In contrast to other proposals that the left anterior cerebral cortex is crucial for all syntactic capacity, Grodzinsky's discoveries support his theory that this region is necessary for only a small component of the human language faculty. On this basis he provides a detailed explanation for many aphasic phenomena—including a number of puzzling cross-linguistic aphasia differences—and uses aphasic data to evaluate competing linguistic theories.
Theoretical Perspectives on Language Deficits is included in the series Biology of Language and Cognition, edited by John P. Marshall. A Bradford Book.
About the Author
Yosef Grodzinsky is a member of the psychology faculty at Tel Aviv University.
"It has long been hoped that evidence regarding language deficit will provide insight into the nature and use of language and the mechanisms that underlie it. This has proven to be a difficult task Grodzinsky's study marks a significant advance in these efforts, showing how questions of major importance concerning language structure can be illuminated by carefully designed studies of deficit. It is an important and promising contribution."