Impaired L1 and executive control after left basal ganglia damage in a bilingual Basque-Spanish person with aphasia.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Clin Linguist Phon, Volume 25, Issue 6-7, p.480-98 (2011)


<p>Bilinguals must focus their attention to control competing languages. In bilingual aphasia, damage to the fronto-subcortical loop may lead to pathological language switching and mixing and the attrition of the more automatic language (usually L1). We present the case of JZ, a bilingual Basque-Spanish 53-year-old man who, after haematoma in the left basal ganglia, presented with executive deficits and aphasia, characterised by more impaired language processing in Basque, his L1. Assessment with the Bilingual Aphasia Test revealed impaired spontaneous and automatic speech production and speech rate in L1, as well as impaired L2-to-L1 sentence translation. Later observation led to the assessment of verbal and non-verbal executive control, which allowed JZ's impaired performance on language tasks to be related to executive dysfunction. In line with previous research, we report the significant attrition of L1 following damage to the left basal ganglia, reported for the first time in a Basque-Spanish bilingual. Implications for models of declarative and procedural memory are discussed.</p>

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