LINGUIST List 13.1958

Mon Jul 22 2002

Diss: Neuroling: Buoiano "Language Impairments..."

Editor for this issue: Karolina Owczarzak <>


  1. g.buoiano, Neuroling: Buoiano "Language Impairments in Schizophrenia..."

Message 1: Neuroling: Buoiano "Language Impairments in Schizophrenia..."

Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2002 14:39:38 +0000
From: g.buoiano <>
Subject: Neuroling: Buoiano "Language Impairments in Schizophrenia..."

New Dissertation Abstract

Institution: University of Pisa
Program: Ph.D in Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2002

Author: Giancarlo Buoiano 

Dissertation Title: 
Language Impairments in Schizophrenia: a Neurolinguistic Approach

Linguistic Field: Neurolinguistics

Dissertation Director 1: Roberto Ajello
Dissertation Director 2: Giovanna Marotta

Dissertation Abstract: 

So far studies on schizophrenic language have been rather vague and
focalized mainly on factors of frequency and context processing,
except for some remarkable papers by E. Chaika in the
80's. Furthermore, schizophrenic language is not generally considered
at the light of specific brain lesions already examined in
aphasiology, and researchers in this specific area do not take into
account how the parsing system works in normal language use.
We have meant to fill this gap by analyzing language impairments in
schizophrenia from a neurolinguistic point of view, by developing a
Neurolinguistic Modular Theory partly based on previous studies and
partly innovative. There is general agreement about the report that
schizophrenics show cognitive impairments typical of frontal,
fronto-striatal and frontotemporal syndromes. Nevertheless an accurate
neurolinguistic assessment "as far as we know" had never been utilized
in schizophrenia. With data from aphasiology, we expected that severe
linguistic damages could be observed in schizophrenia given the
neuropathological alterations reported.

We have implemented and used a battery of tests specifically aimed to
assess which kind of language impairments are detectable in
schizophrenia: we have been able to evaluate enough accurately the
degree of syntactic, semantic and linguistic-perceptional impairment
in schizophrenia. Eight (6 paranoid and 2 disorganized) schizophrenics
and 2 patients with schizotypic personality disorder have been
tested. As age- and sex-matched control group, we studied 10
physically and psychically healthy subjects with no personal or
familiar history of neuropsychiatric disorders.

The schizophrenic patients performed significantly worse than the
controls in all the tests. Verbs, syntax and semantic-syntactic
coindexation were highly impaired. We explain such findings in terms
of the reported fronto-striatal and frontal derangements in
schizophrenics. Furthermore, since the patients performing worse were
the most thought-disordered, a link between specific language brain
areas and some schizophrenic symptoms can be likely.
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