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Function words in the so-called telegraphic speech in aphasic subjects' utterances

Grant number: 15/07238-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2015
Effective date (End): June 30, 2017
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics - Linguistic Theory and Analysis
Acordo de Cooperação: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Rosana Do Carmo Novaes Pinto
Grantee:Arnaldo Rodrigues de Lima
Host Institution: Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem (IEL). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


One of the reasons that explain the interest of Linguistics on language changes in pathologies is that data from this field help either to corroborate or to refute hypotheses about language functioning in the so-called normal states. Jakobson (1981 [1954]), the first linguist who tried to understand language in aphasia, stated that every description and classification of aphasic disorders should start with the question about which aspects of language are impaired in each of its forms. Agrammatism is one of the most studied types of aphasia in the fields of Neuropsychology and Neurolinguistics, either if taken as a symptom or as a syndrome. It has been described, more specifically, by the presence of a telegraphic speech, which is the central object of analysis in this research. In neuropsychological literature, agrammatism and telegraphic speech are associated with Broca's aphasia (aphasia of expression). The term agrammatism is related to the belief that the grammatical aspects are severely impacted in this kind of aphasia. The studies on this category emphasize losses in verbal language, especially regarding the functional categories: prepositions, articles, conjunctions and the inflectional and derivational morphology. Open classes are usually relatively preserved: nouns, adjectives, adverbs and the infinitive form of the verbs. For Jakobson, agrammatism is a prototype of aphasia involving difficulties of combining linguistic elements in the structuring of an utterance - the disorder of contiguity. However, we question whether the most relevant difficulties would not be with the selection of inflectional and derivational morphemes and free morphemes (prepositions, articles, conjunctions) and therefore related to the paradigmatic axis. Jakobson called our attention to the dynamic character of linguistic production and emphasizes the inter-relationship between the axes in the selection and combination operations. In this regard, Coudry also states: "aphasia affects both levels in the discursive functioning of language. There are always repercussions of the affected level in relation to the whole of language" (Coudry 2002, p. 111). The research we intend to develop, guided by historical-cultural approach (mainly based in the postulates of Luria), primarily aims the description and analysis of utterances produced in telegraphic style. The work will be developed at the Centro de Convivência de Afásicos (CCA), with three aphasic subjects (TR, ZD and BS) who participate in the Group III sessions and who attend individual speech-therapy sessions. These subjects present predominantly non-fluent and telegraphic style utterances. All the interactive episodes among aphasic and non-aphasic subjects are video-recorded and diaries of each session are kept in order to register relevant occurrences. Transcripts follow the directives of NURC project (Norma Urbana Culta) and the analyzes are guided by the microgenetic paradigm (Vygotsky, 1984). Besides observing events in their natural setting, other data will be obtained through the use of metalinguistic instruments, which will be specially formulated for our research. We are also interested in understanding the aphasics' alternative strategies in processes of meaning - that is, how they deal with the structure of the utterances, given the difficulties with the production of functional words. We are also interested in the question posed by Kolk (1985) concerning the existence of parallel processes between production and understanding of these functional elements. We believe that the research, driven by the principles of enunciative-discursive Neurolinguistics, may also contribute to better understand the Word Finding Difficulties processes, developed by researchers of GELEP (Language Study Group on aging and the diseases), mainly the project entitled: The lexical-semantic operation: inferences from the study of aphasia. (AU)

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
LIMA, Arnaldo Rodrigues de. Function words in the so-called telegraphic speech in aphasic subjects' utterances. 2017. Master's Dissertation - Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem Campinas, SP.

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