All the articles reviewed and discussed in this paper observe the common topic of “agrammatism” and its role in researching individual cases of aphasia. Aggrammatism is considered to be a variety of expressive aphasia that implies the inability to speak in a grammatically right manner.
David Caplan (Montreal Neurological Institute), the author of “In defense of agrammatism” (1986), argues in his article that agrammatism can be approached in such a way that may cause it being a suitable type for aphasia examination, and that will eventually bring up a certain amount of remarkably exciting issues for study with regard to this particular type. In his research the author refers to Badecker’s and Caramazza’s study that “levied an attack upon the category of agrammatism as a coherent aphasic deficit”. He states that even though the mentioned authors may be right in some of their assumptions, that many accessible diagnostic categories of aphasiology are excessively wide and inadequately described in particular, their ideas exaggerate the essence of the phenomena, making too much of the case against more intently defined categories such as agrammatism.
Referring to Shallice’s method of determining aphasic deficits named the “method of multiple dissociations”, Caplan proposes to put the similar techniques to use with the symptom of agrammatism, and to resolve such questions brought up as “whether the primary dissociations are adequate to delineate a syndrome” and “whether the secondary variation negates the existence of this putative broad syndrome”.
Thoroughly researching Bedecker’s and Caramazza’s arguments about the essence of agrammatism, the author refuses to accept their rationales and conclusions. Caplan disproves their claims that the symptoms of agrammatism cannot be equally portrayed in each patient in terms of a single linguistic or psycholinguistic deficit owing to their diverse nature, that they are mechanistically connected to disorders impacting various vocabulary elements, and that they are identical to the paragrammatic phenomena. He claims that according to the authors’ theories they are supposed to support at least one of the following statement: first of all, there has to be some innovative linguistic and psycholinguistic theory which exposes the information concerning agrammatism and related conditions; secondly, the phenomena demonstrated by the authors are possible due to non-linguistic disorders that impact language functions; and finally, the atypical features they illustrate are most probably due to a diversity of principal deficits. Caplan assumes that the one Bedecker and Caramazza endorse is the last one. Yet he also argues that the hypothesis is far from being properly formulated and is not really proved to be true, while the authors do not make any particular advancement of the hypothesis, as well as they fail to attempt to give good reasons for its justification and to offer some clarification of agrammatism at all.
Eventually, Caplan proposes that the most part of their study can be understood and validated as far as characterization of agrammatism is made on a formal linguistic basis and fastens this formal examination to other factors of linguistic theory and to psycholinguistic models of sentence production and states that “Badecker and Caramazza have thrown the baby out with the bathwater”.
“On considerations of method and theory governing the use of clinical categories in neurolinguistics and cognitive neuropsychology: The case against agrammatism” (1985) by William Badecker and Alfonso Caramazza (The Johns Hopkins University) examines the assumption proposing that while conducting research on the pervasive use of clinical categories of aphasia in neurolinguistic and cognitive neuropsychological the groups of patients embody normal language-processing system disturbances along hypothetically important lines. The category and position of the ‘agrammatism’ is taken in particular consideration by the authors. They propose that there are certain undeniably forceful causes for inquire about “coherence of agrammatism as a psychological entity”. The authors argue that in order to offset these objections, reasonable decisive factors of choosing a hypothetically important group of patients should take the place of clinical intuitions on which this aphasic category is founded. They as well state that achieving this target has to be performed so that theoretically motivated distinction is made between within and across category disparity.