Derivational Morphology in Agrammatic Aphasia: A Comparison Between Prefixed and Suffixed Words

Although a relatively large number of studies on acquired language impairments have tested the case of derivational morphology, none of these have specifically investigated whether there are differences in how prefixed and suffixed derived words are impaired. Based on linguistic and psycholinguistic considerations on prefixed and suffixed derived words, differences in how these two types of derivations are processed, and consequently impaired, are predicted. In the present study, we investigated the errors produced in reading aloud simple, prefixed, and suffixed words by three German individuals with agrammatic aphasia (NN, LG, SA). We found that, while NN and LG produced similar numbers of errors with prefixed and suffixed words, SA showed a selective impairment for prefixed words. Furthermore, NN and SA produced more errors specifically involving the affix with prefixed words than with suffixed words. We discuss our findings in terms of relative position of stem and affix in prefixed and suffixed words, as well as in terms of specific properties of prefixes and suffixes.

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