Generalized Minimality: Feature impoverishment and comprehension deficits in agrammatism

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Agrammatic Broca's aphasics have been shown to have particular problems in comprehending sentences in which a DP has moved over an intervening DP. The explanation of the nature of this observation has played a central role in neurolinguistics and psycholinguistics in the last 30 years. This paper proposes that this pattern can be explained by the Relativized Minimality approach to locality given the natural assumption that agrammatics have trouble with the representation of scope-discourse related features. This approach presents considerable advantages from an empirical perspective and is conceptually desirable from a theoretical perspective. Among the advantages, it is claimed to allow a better integration of these facts with other well-known asymmetries in agrammatic comprehension, such as those involving binding, and models that relate processing and representational accounts of their deficits
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1426-1443
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Agrammatic Aphasia
  • Sentence Comprehension
  • Relativized Minimality
  • Feature Hierarchy
  • Passives

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