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LINGUIST List 20.1868

Fri May 15 2009

Diss: Neurolinguistics: Diouny: 'Neurolinguistics: Some aspects of...'

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        1.    samir Diouny, Neurolinguistics: Some aspects of Moroccan Arabic agrammatism

Message 1: Neurolinguistics: Some aspects of Moroccan Arabic agrammatism
Date: 15-May-2009
From: samir Diouny <samirdiounygmail.com>
Subject: Neurolinguistics: Some aspects of Moroccan Arabic agrammatism
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Institution: Hassan II University, Casablanca
Program: Phd in Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2005

Author: Samir Diouny

Dissertation Title: Neurolinguistics: Some aspects of Moroccan Arabic agrammatism

Linguistic Field(s): Neurolinguistics

Subject Language(s): Arabic, Moroccan Spoken (ary)

Dissertation Director:
Abdellatif Dr. Benkaddour
El Mustapha Pr. El ALaoui Faris

Dissertation Abstract:

This thesis is a contribution to the ongoing debate in agrammatism, an
acquired language disorder resulting from left hemisphere brain damage. The
aim of the thesis is three-fold: first, to undertake a quantitative and
qualitative analysis of morphological and structural properties, as well as
to specify features of Moroccan Arabic agrammatic speech; second, to put
under scrutiny Friedmann and Grodzinsky's (1997) syntactic account of tense
and agreement in production and across modalities. The study attempts to
answer two important research questions: Are tense and agreement
dissociated as predicted by the Tree-Pruning Hypothesis (Friedmann and
Grodzinsky, 1997)? Is the tense/agreement dissociation
"production-specific", or does it extend to comprehension and
grammaticality judgment? A third objective of the thesis is to examine the
comprehension abilities of four Moroccan Arabic-speaking agrammatic
subjects in the light of the Trace Deletion Hypothesis (Grodzinsky, 1995 a,
b). A major research question is whether or not active sentences and
subject relative sentences are understood better than object relative
sentences.

The results of the study seem to suggest that the tense/agreement
dissociation reported for Hebrew (Friedmann and Grodzinsky, 1997) and
German (Wenzlaff and Clahsen, 2003) can be replicated in Moroccan Arabic.
However, the syntactic account as outlined in Friedmann and Grodzinsky
(1997) cannot account for the tense/agreement dissociation as Moroccan
Arabic has the agreement node above the tense node. In addition, the Trace
Deletion Hypothesis cannot account for the comprehension difficulties
experienced by the four Moroccan Arabic-speaking agrammatic subjects; the
case is so because both subject relatives and object relatives are
understood below chance level. Based on data collected through different
experimental methods, it is argued that the deficit in agrammatism cannot
be explained in terms of a structural account, but rather in terms of a
processing account. Access to syntactic knowledge tends to be blocked;
grammatical knowledge, however, is entirely intact.



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