Article ID: CBB081060778

Broca’s faculté du langage articulé: Language or Praxis? (2016)


De Oliveira-Souza, Moll, and Tovar-Moll (this issue) historically reevaluate that Paul Broca’s aphemia should be considered as a kind of apraxia rather than aphasia. I argue that such a claim is unwarranted, given the interpretation of the faculty of speech Broca derived from his predecessors, Jean-Baptiste Bouillaud and Franz Joseph Gall, and also with a view on the then generally held opinion that the terms aphémie and aphasie were synonyms. I will discuss evidence that patients such as Leborgne, producing only very few words or syllables, suffer from a global aphasia, affecting all modalities, despite Broca’s statement that Leborgne’s comprehension was intact. I also point to Broca’s claim that the faculty of speech, located in the left anterior hemisphere, is independent from hand preference because it is an intellectual and not a motor function, and to his statement that the cerebral convolutions are not motor organs. I finally contend that, in order to determine whether a given language problem should be labeled as aphasia or apraxia, it is crucial to first be clear on the components of old and new models of language production.

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Authors & Contributors
Eadie, Mervyn J.
Brunia, Kees
Leleux, Chantal
Lebrun, Yvan
Greenblatt, Samuel H.
Arquiola, Elvira
Journal of the History of the Neurosciences
Historiographia Linguistica: International Journal for the History of the Language Sciences
Brain and Cognition
Asclepio: Archivo Iberoamericano de Historia de la Medicina
Bulletins et Mémoires de la Société d'Anthropologie de Paris
History of Psychiatry
McGill-Queen's University Press
Mental disorders and diseases
Broca, Paul
Bouillaud, Jean Baptiste
Gall, Franz Joseph
Dax, Marc
Snell, Ludwig
Oppenheim, Hermann
Paris (France)
London (England)
Glasgow (Scotland)
19th century
20th century, early
18th century
British Association for the Advancement of Science

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