Effects of neurological damage on production of formulaic language

Diana Sidtis, Gina Canterucci, Dora Katsnelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Early studies reported preserved formulaic language in left hemisphere damaged subjects and reduced incidence of formulaic expressions in the conversational speech of stroke patients with right hemispheric damage. Clinical observations suggest a possible role also of subcortical nuclei. This study examined formulaic language in the spontaneous speech of stroke patients with left, right, or subcortical damage. Four subjects were interviewed and their speech samples compared to normal speakers. Raters classified formulaic expressions as speech formulae, fillers, sentence stems, and proper nouns. Results demonstrated that brain damage affected novel and formulaic language competence differently, with a significantly smaller proportion of formulaic expressions in subjects with right or subcortical damage compared to left hemisphere damaged or healthy speakers. These findings converge with previous studies that support the proposal of a right hemisphere/ subcortical circuit in the management of formulaic expressions, based on a dual-process model of language incorporating novel and formulaic language use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-284
Number of pages15
JournalClinical Linguistics and Phonetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Aphasia
  • Basal ganglia
  • Formulaic language

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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