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Title: Broca’s aphasia : syntax and beyond
Author: Kennedy, Lynda
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 7266
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2017
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The current project provides a novel perspective on sentence comprehension in Broca’s aphasia by expanding the empirical domain both within and beyond narrow syntax. Further, we take a comparative approach to this investigation by comparing the perfor­mance of a group of individuals with Broca’s aphasia with a group of typical adults on the one hand and a group of typically developing children on the other. In particular, we focus on three key linguistic phenomena that arguably involve different language domains, get passive constructions (narrow syntax), ambiguous sentences involving the nominal quantifier every and negation (syntax-semantics interface) and finally prag­matic inferences, namely, scalar implicatures, presuppositions and multiplicity inferences (semantic-pragmatic interface). Traditionally, Broca’s aphasia has been defined as a dis­order mainly affecting syntax however recent evidence for non-linguistic deficits in this population poses the question as to whether it should be defined more generally. The current study adds to this debate by providing a broader view of language processing in Broca’s aphasia. Further, this project shows the value of the comparative approach in helping to constrain and refine theories of language acquisition and linguistic theories. The findings of this project support the hypothesis that individuals with Broca’s aphasia suffer from a specific impairment affecting processing of narrow syntax and the relative sparing of non-syntactic phenomena. Additionally, the findings indicate that despite su­perficial similarities, individuals with Broca’s aphasia and typically developing children show clear differences in how they engage with core linguistic phenomena.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available