Characteristics of Syntactic Comprehension Deficits Following Closed Head Injury Versus Left Cerebrovascular Accident Two studies examined the ability to assign thematic roles and to coindex referentially dependent noun phrases in closed head injured adults, adult stroke patients, and normal adults. The subjects’ task was to enact target sentences by manipulating toy animals. Closed head injured and stroke patients demonstrated a significant effect of ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1990
Characteristics of Syntactic Comprehension Deficits Following Closed Head Injury Versus Left Cerebrovascular Accident
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Susan Butler-Hinz
    School of Human Communication Disorders, McGill University
  • David Caplan
    Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Gloria Waters
    School of Human Communication Disorders, McGill University
  • Requests for reprints should be sent to Gloria Waters, School of Human Communication Disorders, McGill University, Beatty Hall, 1266 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, Quebec H3G 1A8 Canada.
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1990
Characteristics of Syntactic Comprehension Deficits Following Closed Head Injury Versus Left Cerebrovascular Accident
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1990, Vol. 33, 269-280. doi:10.1044/jshr.3302.269
History: Received November 4, 1988 , Accepted September 28, 1989
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1990, Vol. 33, 269-280. doi:10.1044/jshr.3302.269
History: Received November 4, 1988; Accepted September 28, 1989

Two studies examined the ability to assign thematic roles and to coindex referentially dependent noun phrases in closed head injured adults, adult stroke patients, and normal adults. The subjects’ task was to enact target sentences by manipulating toy animals. Closed head injured and stroke patients demonstrated a significant effect of syntactic structure on sentence comprehension, and the patterns of breakdown in the ability to assign thematic roles and coindex referentially dependent noun phrases were strikingly similar in the two groups. These findings suggest that syntactic comprehension disturbances are similar following left cerebral hemisphere infarction and closed head injury.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Preparation of this manuscript was supported by a Program Grant from the Medical Research Council of Canada, and an Establishment Grant from the Fonds de Recherche en Sante du Quebec to the second author.
The authors would like to thank the numerous neurologists and speech-language pathologists who permitted us access to patients and charts. Specifically, we would like to acknowledge the doctors and clinicians of the Institut de Readaptation de Montreal, the Jewish Rehabilitation Hospital (Montreal), the Lethbridge Rehabilitation Centre (Montreal), the Montreal General Hospital, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Montreal), the Royal Ottawa Regional Rehabilitation Hospital, and the Royal Victoria Hospital (Montreal).
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