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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: The Role Played by the Right Hemisphere in the Organization of Complex Textual Structures Add Dissertation
Author: Andrea Marini Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Università degli Studi di Roma - La Sapienza, PhD in linguistics
Completed in: 2002
Linguistic Subfield(s): Psycholinguistics; Neurolinguistics;
Subject Language(s): Italian
Director(s): Carlo Caltagirone

Abstract: A group of eleven patients with right hemisphere damage (RHD) was compared to a group of eleven left hemisphere damaged (LHD) non aphasic subjects and eleven neurologically intact controls in performing three story description tasks. In the first task subjects were asked to describe a set of four previously read stories whereas the second and the third tasks required subjects to describe, respectively, ordered and unordered picture stories. The texts elicited in this way were analyzed with a newly developed, original method of text analysis, which allows to have a complete view of the micro- and macrolinguistic processing abilities of the subjects examined. Important differences were found in the three groups relative to the task used. In the retelling of previously read stories the three groups performed relatively good both at the micro- and the macrolinguistic level of processing. In the picture description tasks, however, the performances of the RHD subjects on one side and those of LHD and normal controls on the other were considerably different with respect to the coherence and cohesion of the text as well as to the construction of the mental model of the story.

The results partially confirm previously reported descriptions of brain damaged patients' text productions and partially introduce new aspects of textual processing that have to be highlighted in future studies, such as the ability to select and adapt lexical entries to particular textual contexts. As a whole, the results of this work allow us to gather further information about the hemispheric lateralization of complex linguistic skills as the textual competence and on its structure and functioning.