Sentence processing deficits in two Cantonese aphasic patients

Sam Po Law, Man Tak Leung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports the performances of two Cantonese aphasics on tasks examining their sentence processing deficits. The data on sentence comprehension show that thematically noncanonical sentences, full passives, and subject-gap sentences present greater difficulty to these patients than canonical sentences, truncated passives, and object-gap sentences, respectively. These patterns are consistent with previous observations on Chinese aphasics and are expected given the structural differences between Chinese and English. In a Cantonese grammaticality judgment test, a set of structures are identified that can elicit clear judgments from normal subjects and aphasics, contrary to the claim that grammaticality judgments in Chinese are probabilistic and fragile. Most interestingly, the patients' overall performance patterns reveal a double dissociation between sentence comprehension and judgment of sentence well-formedness, suggesting that the two tasks are supported by independent processing mechanisms. (C) 2000 Academic Press.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-342
Number of pages33
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Aphasia
  • Cantonese
  • Comprehension
  • Grammaticality judgment
  • Production
  • Sentence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing


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