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SpecialtySpeech language pathology

Paragrammatism is the confused or incomplete use of grammatical structures, found in certain forms of speech disturbance.[1] Paragrammatism is the inability to form grammatically correct sentences. It is characteristic of fluent aphasia, most commonly Receptive aphasia. Paragrammatism is sometimes called "extended paraphasia," although it is different from paraphasia. Paragrammatism is roughly synonymous with "word salad," which concerns the semantic coherence of speech rather than its production.


Huber assumes a disturbance of the sequential organization of sentences as the cause of the syntactic errors (1981:3). Most students and practitioners regard paragrammatism as the morphosyntactic "leitsymptom" of Wernicke’s aphasia.

However, ever since the introduction of the term paragrammatism some students have pointed out that paragrammatic and agrammatic phenomena, which in classical theory form part of Broca’s aphasia, may co-occur in the same patient.[2]


Since Kleist introduced the term in 1916,[3] paragrammatism denotes a disordered mode of expressing oneself that is characterized by confused and erroneous word order, syntactic structure and/or grammatical morphology [2](Schlenck 1991:199f)

Most researchers suppose that the faulty syntactic structure (sentence blends, contaminations, break-offs) results from a disturbance of the syntactic plan of the utterance (de Bleser/Bayer 1993:160f)

In non-fluent aphasia, oral expression is often agrammatic, i.e. grammatically incomplete and/or incorrect. By contrast, expression in fluent aphasia usually appears grammatical, albeit with disruptions in content. Despite this persistent impression, errors of sentence structure and morphology do occur in fluent aphasia, although they take the form of substitutions rather than omissions.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Definition of paragrammatism". Oxford Dictionaries (British & World English).
  2. ^ a b Butterworth, Brian; Howard, David (1987). "Paragrammatisms". Cognition. 26 (1): 1–37. doi:10.1016/0010-0277(87)90012-6. ISSN 0010-0277. PMID 3608394.
  3. ^ Heeschen, Claus; Kolk, Herman (1988). "Agrammatism and paragrammatism". Aphasiology. 2 (3–4): 299–302. doi:10.1080/02687038808248928. ISSN 0268-7038.
  4. ^ "Understanding paragrammatism: A comparative case study". Aphasiology (2008). 2008.

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