Sentence comprehension in Cantonese Chinese aphasic patients

Sam Po Law, Man Tak Leung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This paper begins with a brief review of major theoretical accounts of English aphasic sentence comprehension, including the mapping hypothesis (Linebarger et al. 1983), the interpretive strategy proposed in Caplan (1985), and the trace-deletion hypothesis in Grodzinsky (1990). We then discuss some of the syntactic differences between Chinese and English with particular reference to the relativized and passive constructions, and formal linguistic analyses of these structures. In light of these syntactic differences a study was conducted investigating the ability of four Cantonese Chinese aphasic patients to comprehend auditorally and visually presented sentences. The results showed a dissociation between full and truncated passives in two patients, and a tendency suggesting that subject-relative sentences were more difficult to interpret than subject object-relatives. On the basis of their performance patterns we hypothesize about the nature of impairment of each patient by making reference to the three dominant accounts. These hypotheses then lead to a discussion of the relationship between neurolinguistic data and patient rehabilitation. More specifically, the former may provide useful information to speech therapists in designing individualized assessments and treatment programmes for patients, and evaluations of the effects of such interventions may in turn be shown to be of great value to theoretical advancement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-63
Number of pages15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • LPN and LVN


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