Psycholinguistics & Neurolinguistics

Agrammatism its causes and classification with examples

Agrammatism

Agrammatism is the inability to build or perceive grammatical structures. Agrammatisms are found in speech and writing. They are characteristic of the early period of speech development, as well as persons with general speech underdevelopment, bilingualism, aphasia, hearing impairment, and dysgraphia. It is diagnosed during speech therapy examination of oral and written speech, neuropsychological testing. Correctional and restorative training to overcome agrammatism is aimed at improving the grammatical categories of the language. Agrammatism its causes and classification

Explanation of Agrammatism

People suffering from this speech impairment have brain damage localized in the area of ​​the Sylvian groove. Translated from Greek, agrammatism sounds like the absence of a sign, quality. This terminology applies to writing and reading. In an adult, agrammatism makes itself felt in the form of aphasia of various forms. These are speech disorders, which are characterized by the loss of words when expressing their thoughts.

As for children, their agrammatism can manifest itself at the very beginning of the development of speech, as well as in the case of hearing impairment. In addition, this phenomenon is present in both written and oral speech. Experts name several reasons that can cause this disorder at any age. First of all, this is a disturbing activity of the brain, which can be triggered by a number of diseases. This includes, among other things, changes and disorders that occur in the peripheral part of the hearing analyzer. Often, hearing impaired, mentally retarded children with underdeveloped speech suffer from agrammatism.

Symptoms of Agrammatism

In the presence of this disease, the symptoms directly depend on the extent to which the disease is manifested. In particular, there are shortcomings in vocabulary and phonemic structure. Symptoms are manifested in the fact that the child begins to speak much later than usual. So, phrasal speech occurs after the age of three, or even when the child is already four years old. And in this case, it often contains agrammatism, which is characterized by the incorrect use of grammatical forms. Parents often do not attach importance to such speech disorders in a child, and they consider the main thing that the sounds themselves are pronounced correctly.

They believe that after a certain time the child will be able to agree on phrases correctly. It is known that in this case the baby successfully masters grammar corresponding to the level of study in the first grade, the sound structure of words is also learned. But, at the same time, there are difficulties in studying the morphological principles of writing. Experiencing bewilderment about this condition, parents eventually turn to a speech therapist or neurologist. Teachers notice immediately that the student is not able to cope with the rules of declension for cases, gender, numbers. Such shortcomings are noticeable in the incorrect consistency of words, in the spelling of the endings.

Causes of Agrammatism

Preschool age

The assimilation of the basic grammatical forms of the native language occurs in the first 3-5 years of life. Children accumulate a significant vocabulary, master the skills of inflection and word formation, correctly understand and use prepositions, use simple and complex sentences.

In the speech of preschoolers and younger students, individual agrammatism may be encountered. As a rule, they are associated with the use of low-frequency words, complex grammatical turns, exceptions to the rules of the Russian language. However, with normal speech development, grammatical errors gradually disappear from the child’s speech use. Agrammatism its causes and classification

Classification of Agrammatism

Depending on the nature of the disorder (internal or external speech), two types of agrammatism are distinguished in speech therapy practice:

  • impressive – the understanding of the meaning of grammatical turns is violated;
  • expressive – the ability to correctly use case forms, prepositions, and agreement of words during independent expression is not formed or disintegrates.

According to the level of formation of grammatical processes, three degrees of agrammatism are distinguished (from heavier to light):

  1. In the speech, non-segregated (one-word) sentences are used. Composing and repeating extended phrases is difficult.
  2. Sentences are short, syntactic links between structural components are broken. Repeated speech suffers.
  3. There are errors in the declination of the members of the sentence; otherwise, the independent phrase is framed correctly. When repeating a given phrase, no errors occur. 

Examples of Agrammatism among schoolchildren

Contrary to the rules of grammar, the child writes agrammatically, for example, “on the table” or “long road”. In accordance with age-related skills, children by the age of four should already be able to coordinate words correctly. It should be noted that at this age, such speech errors cannot be considered the norm. When a kid makes mistakes, such as “trees”, or “near there,” then, of course, obligatory consultation of specialists is required. If we talk about the rules of word formation, where prefixes, suffixes are used, then children master such skills later, by about eight years of age. At this time, the student should already be able to normally coordinate words with each other, and easily form new ones. If this does not happen, then the specialist diagnoses agrammatism in children. Agrammatism its causes and classification

Upon admission to an educational institution for school-age children, the available agrammatism is immediately identified. At the same time, a number of pronunciation defects are noted, the lexico-grammatical structure is unformed, coherent speech and phonetic perception also do not correspond. A more distinct manifestation of agrammatism is observed in seven-year-old and eight-year-old children, because at this time schoolchildren are already mastering literacy, learning the rules of grammar. The prerequisites are that the child has a poor vocabulary. According to research, this violation occurs precisely because of the poverty of the vocabulary, and the misunderstanding of the lexical meaning also affects.

 Treatment of Agrammatism

Neurologists and neuropathologists distinguish two types of agrammatism, which are the main ones. This refers to expressive agrammatism, as well as impressive agrammatism.

In the case of an impressive form, the violation of understanding of agrammatism is complete, the meaning of understanding of grammatical constructions is partially violated.

 With expressive agrammatism, the child incorrectly uses cases, declensions, prepositions. There is also telegraph-style agrammatism, which is syntactic aphasia. This type of disorder has an isolated course, and often accompanied by motor difficulties. For this localization, focusing on the Broca’s zone, which is responsible for the reproduction of speech, is typical.

This part of the brain controls the muscles of the pharynx, jaw, face, and tongue, it is located in the lower frontal lobe. A person suffering from this form of aphasia does not experience difficulties in naming and updating these series. Patients may repeat individual words, although grammatical errors are produced when the sentence is repeated. Basically, speech defects are clearly expressed in conversation and attract attention. With a less pronounced form, inadequate construction of pronounced sentences is typical, when the use of nouns in random cases occurs. For example, “The girl went to the street.” In agrammatism, symptoms are determined by conducting experiments related to the perception of speech.

Agrammatism therapy involves the use of specially developed techniques that allow patients of any age to restore the ability to correctly build speech. The prognosis is due to the degree of the pathological process, the depth of speech impairment. Good results can be achieved with complex treatment. These are speech therapy classes, microcurrent reflexology, speech therapy massage. Agrammatism its causes and classification

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