Talk: A linguistic interpretation of agrammatic aphasia

My dissertation project aims to build a bridge between current linguistic theory and experimental approaches to language pathology. In my talk, I will present my research project which is still in the early stages of development.

Recent years have seen a renewed interest in linguistic studies on clinical language disorders such as aphasia (e.g., Franco 2014, Wang et al. 2014, Fyndanis & Themistocleous 2019). For theoretical linguists, language data from aphasics can be particularly relevant since they may provide the empirical backdrop for testing the utilizability of different approaches to the organization of grammar.
In my dissertation, I will investigate how the hypotheses and operational strategies of the theoretical framework of Distributed Morphology (DM, Halle & Marantz 1993) can contribute
to a more accurate interpretation of Italian aphasic, i.e. agrammatic data in the verbal domain.
In combining empirical evidence with linguistic theorizing, the project aims to demonstrate how basic DM assumptions such as the separation of grammatical features from their phonological
realization, lexical underspecification and the process of vocabulary insertion account for the morphosyntactic deficits in Italian aphasic speech production. In turn, the empirical data will serve as a basis to optimize various domains of the theory. The interaction between DM and experimental evidence is expected to enrich the conceptual structure of the theory, thus presenting a possibility for DM to evolve towards a more empirical characterization of language pathology, and of language use in general.

Keywords: verb morphology, Italian, Broca's aphasia, Distributed Morphology


Day: 2020-11-19
Start time: 18:30
Duration: 00:30
Room: Odille Morison
Track: Theoretical Linguistics
Language: en



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