Date of Award

1992

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Hugh W. Buckingham

Abstract

The grammatical structure of Arabic allows for significant cross-linguistic comparisons in the study of Slips-of-the-tongue as well as aphasia. The dissertation presents a case study of the aphasic deficit in the speech of a speaker of Arabic, in particular, the Hijazi dialect spoken in the Western Province of Saudi Arabia, with a subsequent comparison with regular slips-of-the-tongue in the same dialect collected and analyzed by the same author. Both the slips-of-the-tongue data and the aphasia data have been collected in the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, by the present investigator. It was observed that in such a highly inflected language, grammatical morphemes carry a heavier functional load than in analytical languages. Thus, those elements that do not carry a high informational load are deleted, whereas those that do are retained. Clitic pronouns are robust and resist errors in both the slips-of-the-tongue and aphasic errors. During processing, the third person singular masculine form becomes a "default" form for T.A. and accounts for the unidirectionality of his substitutions. The brain damage syndrome discussed here results in impairment that affects grammatical morpheme selection as well as lexical processing mechanisms. The locus of the functional damage is identified with the computations that specify the Positional Level of Garrett's (1984, 1988) model. Both slip and aphasic data argue for Kiparsky's (1982) two level morphology, where Level I is responsible for irregular morphological forms, while Level II morphology computes regular morphological forms. The segmental errors analyzed in this study violate the syllabic position constraints proposed for Western languages such as English. These constraints appear to be language dependent rather than language universal. The dissociation of consonantal roots and vocalic patterns observed in the data (which has not been observed or documented before), demand a closer investigation and refinement of the long accepted syllable position constraint. This reported dissociation provides evidence for McCarthy's proposed two tier autosegmental representation for Semitic languages, where one tier contains the consonantal roots while the other contains the vocalic patterns.

Pages

172

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