Pragmatics in the absence of verbal language: Descriptions of a severe aphasic and a language-deprived adult

Nina Dronkers, Carl A. Ludy, Brenda B. Redfern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


Two cases with vastly different etiologies are presented to illustrate pragmatic competence in the absence of verbal language. The first is a man with severe Broca's aphasia who lost the ability to use any propositional language after a massive left hemisphere stroke. The second is a congenially-deaf woman with no exposure to language until well into adulthood. Despite their lack of verbal skills, both cases demonstrate a full command of pragmatic abilities and function as competent social actors. This finding reinforces the view of pragmatics as a vital part of social interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-190
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neurolinguistics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language

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