LINGUIST List 12.748

Sun Mar 18 2001

Qs: ESL Test Online, "Suppletive form" Aphasia?

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>

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  1. steven donahue, Standardized Pronunciation Online-- English
  2. Dr. Joel M. Hoffman, "suppletive form" aphasia?

Message 1: Standardized Pronunciation Online-- English

Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2001 08:35:27 -0500
From: steven donahue <>
Subject: Standardized Pronunciation Online-- English

Our college has begun to move the Assessment and Remediation of
English Pronunciation for ESL learners onto a Web site using a "store
and forward" software concept. The Assessment piece measures 121
aspects of English Pronunciation ranging from: Consonants, Vowels,
Intonation, Stress, Adjustments, Rhymes, Tongue Twisters, and Body
Language. Items which are missed on the Assessment piece trigger the
software to fetch remedial files from a Web-based repository to give
the learner Audio, Video, and Animation feedback. Here is the access
information. I am also enclosing the teacher access information for
student's results. Please give me some feedback, from yourself, or
your students.

Steven Donahue
Broward Community College
South Florida, USA
- ------------------------------
username stevenbcc
password stevenbcc
[download assessment programs. Take assessment listening discrimination
tests. Be sure to make mistakes in order to get remedial video and
animation files]
username harmony
[this will recharge the database. Wait until it says "finished"]
- leave field blanks
- just hit the "find" button
- scroll to bottom for latest results.
- ------------------------------------
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Message 2: "suppletive form" aphasia?

Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2001 09:50:26 -0500 (EST)
From: Dr. Joel M. Hoffman <>
Subject: "suppletive form" aphasia?

I have a friend who underwent a partial cortical resection near
Broca's area two months ago. While he has recovered most of his
language, he complains that he cannot understand "better" and "worse."
He is a high-functioning, intelligent, college graduate, and is fully
aware of his inability to understand these two words.

It occurred to me that "better" and "worse" are the only suppletive
comparative forms in English (I think), and, in fact, except for
strong verbs, the only suppletive forms altogether in English. I
tried telling him "more good" and "more bad," and he was able to
understand these two, but still unable to understand "better" and "worse."

This seems like evidence that: 1. suppletive forms are stored uniquely
in the brain (at least in his brain); and 2. these suppletive forms
are unlike strong verbs.

Does anyone have any evidence to support or refute this hypothesis?
Has work been done on this apparent connection between suppletive
forms and brain/language topology?


-Joel Hoffman
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