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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 22 (2010), Issue 1-2, Pages 25-34

The Relative Role of Semantic and Sublexical Processes in Reading, Writing and Repetition: Evidence from a Follow-Up Study

Flavia Mattioli

Neuropsychological Unit, Spedali Civili, Brescia, Italy

Received 31 May 2010; Accepted 31 May 2010

Copyright © 2010 Hindawi Publishing Corporation and the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The evolution in time of a number of language tasks in a longitudinal study of a 61-year-old aphasic patient is described. The patient, examined twice, in a 10 month follow-up, showed a dissociation between preserved reading with respect to impaired other modalities as well as a qualitative change in errors' type. A reduction of neologisms and phonologically based errors, with a concurrent increase of semantic paraphasias in naming and repetition, as well as an amelioration in reading, with a reduction of stress assignment errors was exhibited at the follow-up. The results are interpreted by postulating an improved performance of the phonological output processes, allowing non-phonologically based errors to emerge, thus revealing the underlying semantic damage. The Summation Hypothesis [14] seems a general framework better interpreting these findings, more than highly specialized production models, which could explain separately only different modalities’ impairments.