Tense and agreement in agrammatic production: Pruning the syntactic tree

Na'Ama Friedmann*, Yosef Grodzinsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

310 Scopus citations


This paper discusses the description of agrammatic production focusing on the verbal inflectional morphology. Agrammatism in Hebrew is investigated through an experiment with a patient who displays a highly selective impairment: agreement inflection is completely intact, but tense inflection, use of copula, and embedded structures are severely impaired. A retrospective examination of the literature shows that our findings are corroborated by others. A selective account of the agrammatic production deficiency is proposed, according to which only a subclass of the functional syntactic categories is impaired in this syndrome. The consequence of this deficit is the pruning of the syntactic phrase marker of agrammatic patients, which impairs performance from the impaired node and higher. These findings also bear upon central issues in linguistic theories, particularly thai of Pollock (1989), regarding split inflection.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)397-425
Number of pages29
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number3
StatePublished - 15 Feb 1997


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