Investigating the Agrammatic Production of Canonical and Non-Canonical Sentences Cross-Linguistically

Mohammad Harun


Research on agrammatism has revealed that the nature of linguistic impairment is systematic and interpretable. Non-canonical sentences are more impaired than those of canonical sentences. Previous studies on Japanese (Hiroshi et al. 2004; Chujo 1983; Tamaoka et al. 2003; Nakayama 1995) report that aphasic patients take longer Response Time (RT) and make more mistakes in producing non-canonical sentences compared to that of canonical sentences. The present research investigates the production impairments of canonical and non-canonical sentences cross-linguistically focusing on Bangla, Japanese, German and English aphasic patients. While Bangla, Japanese, German have relatively flexible word order, and hence allow freer phrasal movement, English exemplifies less freedom in word order patterns, and does not allow as much movement as the former three. We hypothesized that Bangla agrammatic patients would have more impairments in producing non-canonical sentences than those of canonical counterparts, while the production of canonical sentences is not completely devoid of impairments too. Primary data were collected from Bangla agrammatic patients, and secondary data from Japanese, German and English were exploited for cross-linguistic comparison. The findings show that Bangla agrammatic speakers have severe impairments in producing passive sentences, although the production of active ones are not completely devoid of impairments. The cross-linguistic comparison of the findings implies that the production of Bangla agrammatism tend to be similar to other agrammatic production and the production of non-canonical sentences are more difficult than those of canonical sentences cross-linguistically.


Bangla Agrammatism, (Non-)Canonicity, Passive Sentences, Minimalist Program

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