chapter  9
27 Pages

Further language and communication processes

Language use and its impairments have always occupied a central position within cognitive neuropsychology. We have already discussed work on writing, reading, and the production and comprehension of spoken words, and yet we still have aspects of language to cover. In this chapter we shall begin by discussing briefl y the conceptual language disorder known as “semantic jargon”. We shall then examine the instructive history of the putative syndrome of “Broca’s aphasia” or “agrammatism” which, as we shall see, turns out not to be a syndrome at all (in the sense of being a coherent set of symptoms arising from a single functional impairment) but is instead a cluster of often associated but separable defi cits, each requiring a separate explanation. We shall then review a range of languagerelated disorders, several of which are said to follow injury to the right cerebral hemisphere (rather than, as is more normal in the case of language disorders, following left hemisphere injury). Towards the end of the chapter we shall examine briefl y disorders of gesture and sign language, ending with a consideration of the nature of language as viewed through the eyes of a cognitive neuropsychologist.