Agrammatic Comprehension of Simple Active Sentences With Moved Constituents Hebrew OSV and OVS Structures Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2003
Agrammatic Comprehension of Simple Active Sentences With Moved Constituents
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Naama Friedmann, PhD
    Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Lewis P. Shapiro
    San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
  • Contact author: Naama Friedmann, PhD, School of Education, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel. E-mail: naamafr@post.tau.ac.il; Web: http://www.tau.ac.il/~naamafr
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language Disorders / Aphasia / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2003
Agrammatic Comprehension of Simple Active Sentences With Moved Constituents
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2003, Vol. 46, 288-297. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/023)
History: Received March 6, 2002 , Accepted September 25, 2002
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2003, Vol. 46, 288-297. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/023)
History: Received March 6, 2002; Accepted September 25, 2002
Web of Science® Times Cited: 46

This study examines agrammatic comprehension of object-subject-verb (OSV) and object-verb-subject (OVS) structures in Hebrew. These structures are syntactically identical to the basic order subject-verb-object (SVO) sentence except for the movement of the object to the beginning of the sentence, and thus enable empirical examination of syntactic movement in agrammatic comprehension. Seven individuals with agrammatism, 7 individuals with conduction aphasia, and 7 individuals without language impairment, all native speakers of Hebrew, performed a sentence-picture matching task. The task compared OSV and OVS sentences to SVO sentences and to subject and object relatives. Individuals with agrammatism performed more poorly than those in either of the other groups. Their comprehension of SVO sentences was significantly above chance, but comprehension of OSV and OVS sentences was at chance and was poorer than comprehension of SVO sentences. These results show that agrammatic comprehension of structures that involve movement of a noun phrase is impaired even when the structure is a simple active sentence, in line with the Trace Deletion Hypothesis (TDH; Y. Grodzinsky, 1990, 1995a, 2000). A modification is suggested to accommodate the TDH with the VP Internal Subject Hypothesis, according to which individuals with agrammatism use an "Avoid Movement" strategy in comprehension.

Acknowledgments
The authors would like to acknowledge the Joint German-Israeli Research Program grant GR01791 (Friedmann) and NIH grants DC02984 (David Swinney) and DC00494 (Shapiro, Swinney) for support of research reported in this paper. We thank Michal Biran, Mali Gil, Aviah Gvion, and Dafna Wenkert-Olenik for their help in discussions and testing, and the participants for their patient participation.
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