GC: n

S: NAA – http://www.aphasia.org/aphasia-definitions/”>http://www.aphasia.org/aphasia-definitions/ (last access: 30 October 2015); http://www.aphasia.org/ (last access: 30 October 2015).

N: 1. Loss of ability to speak, especially as result of brain injury or disorder, from Modern Latin aphasia, from Greek ἀφασία ‘speechlessness’ from a- ‘without’ + phasis ‘utterance’ from phanai ‘to speak’ related to pheme ‘voice, report, rumor’.
2. First known use as a noun: 1867.
The adjective of aphasia is aphasic. First known use as an adjective: 1892.
3. Aphasia is the term which has recently been given to the loss of the faculty of articulate language, the organs of phonation and of articulation, as well as the intelligence, being unimpaired. The pathology of this affection is at the present time the subject of much discussion in the scientific world; the French Academy devoted several of their séances during the year 1865 to its special elucidation, and the Medical Journals of France and of our own country have lately contained a good deal of original matter bearing upon this obscure feature in cerebral pathology. (Frederic Bateman, M.D., “Aphasia,” London, 1868).
4. There are different types of aphasia:

  • global aphasia: this is the most severe form of aphasia, and is applied to patients who can produce few recognizable words and understand little or no spoken language. Persons with Global Aphasia can neither read nor write.
  • broca’s aphasia (non-fluent aphasia): in this form of aphasia, speech output is severely reduced and is limited mainly to short utterances of less than four words. Vocabulary access is limited and the formation of sounds by persons with Broca’s aphasia is often laborious and clumsy.
  • mixed non-fluent aphasia: this term is applied to patients who have sparse and effortful speech, resembling severe Broca’s aphasia.
  • wernicke’s aphasia (fluent aphasia): in this form of aphasia the ability to grasp the meaning of spoken words is chiefly impaired, while the ease of producing connected speech is not much affected.
  • anomic aphasia: this term is applied to persons who are left with a persistent inability to supply the words for the very things they want to talk about-particularly the significant nouns and verbs.
  • primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA): is a rare neurological syndrome in which language capabilities become slowly and progressively impaired, while other mental functions remain preserved.
  • other varieties: disorders of reading (alexia) or disorders affecting both reading and writing (alexia and agraphia), following a stroke. Severe impairments of calculation often accompany aphasia, yet in some instances patients retain excellent calculation in spite of the loss of language.

5. Less severe forms are known as dysphasia.
6. Cultural Interrelation: We can mention the novel Great Expectations (1860) by Charles Dickens (1812-1870) and the 40-minute film Aphasia the Movie, Part of The Carl McIntyre Aphasia Project.

S: 1, 2 & 3. OED – http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=aphasia&searchmode=none (last access: 30 October 2015). 4. NAA – http://www.aphasia.org/aphasia-definitions/”>http://www.aphasia.org/aphasia-definitions/ (last access: 30 October 2015). 5. TERMIUM PLUS – (last access: 30 October 2015). 6. https://books.google.es/books?isbn=8120338138 (last access: 17 April 2016); http://www.aphasiathemovie.com/Aphasia_Project/Aphasia_the_Movie.html (last access: 31 October 2015).


CR: anarthria, aphonia, Broca’s aphasia, dysphasia, dysphonia.