Patterns of comprehension and production of nouns and verbs in agrammatism: Implications for lexical organization

Mikyong Kim*, Cynthia K. Thompson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

233 Scopus citations


This study examined the relationship between verb retrieval and verb- argument-structure properties in seven agrammatic aphasic patients using tasks requiring access to the verb's lexicon for both comprehension- and productionlike processes. Results showed intact comprehension of both nouns and verbs and noun naming, but impaired naming of verbs. Subjects also demonstrated near-normal performance on a grammaticality judgment task involving verb-argument-structure violations but were impaired in categorizing verbs by type (based on number of obligatory arguments). In both naming and categorization conditions, a hierarchy of verb difficulty emerged. Subjects were more accurate in naming/categorizing one-place verbs than two- place verbs and more accurate in naming/categorizing two-place verbs than three-place verbs. The pattern of selective impairment in lexical access/retrieval supports the hypothesis that one dimension of normal lexical organization is by form class. The results also suggest that no necessary relationship exists between production difficulties and comprehension of nouns/verbs in agrammatism. Further, the performance pattern noted supports the claim that verb-argument-structure properties, an important component of the verb lexicon, influence verb production at the single-word and at the sentence level. Subjects' performance on different tasks suggests that the locus of breakdown in the verb-retrieval processes for productionlike tasks may be in accessing information at the lemma level of representation as per Bock's model (1995) of sentence production. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number92315
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000


  • Agrammatism
  • Lexical organization in aphasia
  • Verb argument structure in aphasia
  • Verb categorization in aphasia
  • Verb production in aphasia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Speech and Hearing
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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