Broca's aphasia, broca's area, and syntax: A complex relationship

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (1):27-28 (2000)
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Abstract

Three types of problems are raised in this commentary: On the linguistic side, we emphasize the importance of an appropriate definition of the different domains of linguistics. This is needed to define the domains (lexicon-syntax-semantics) to which transformational relations apply. We then question the concept of Broca's aphasia as a “functional” syndrome, associated with a specific lesion. Finally, we discuss evidence from functional brain imaging. The breadth and potential impact of such evidence has grown considerably in the last few years, expanding our knowledge of the multiple contributions of the “Broca's region” to phonological, lexical-semantic, and syntactic processing. “Lumping” under diagnostic labels, such as Broca's aphasia, should be replaced by more detailed linguistic and neurological descriptions of the clinical cases.

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