Patterns of phonological errors as a function of a phonological versus an articulatory locus of impairment

Cristina Romani, Andrew C. Olson, Carlo Semenza, Alessia Granà

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WWe present the case of two aphasic patients: one with fluent speech, MM, and one with dysfluent speech, DB. Both patients make similar proportions of phonological errors in speech production and the errors have similar characteristics. A closer analysis, however, shows a number of differences. DB's phonological errors involve, for the most part, simplifications of syllabic structure; they affect consonants more than vowels; and, among vowels, they show effects of sonority/complexity. This error pattern may reflect articulatory difficulties. MM's errors, instead, show little effect of syllable structure, affect vowels at least as much as consonants and, and affect all different vowels to a similar extent. This pattern is consistent with a more central impairment involving the selection of the right phoneme among competing alternatives. We propose that, at this level, vowel selection may be more difficult than consonant selection because vowels belong to a smaller set of repeatedly activated units.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-567
Number of pages27
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2002


  • aphasia
  • phonological errors
  • articulatory impairment
  • syllabic structure
  • vowels versus consonants

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