Quantitative analysis of agrammatism in agrammatic primary progressive aphasia and dominant apraxia of speech

Katerina A. Tetzloff, Rene L. Utianski, Joseph R. Duffy, Heather M. Clark, Edythe A. Strand, Keith A. Josephs, Jennifer L. Whitwell

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: The aims of the study were to assess and compare grammatical deficits in written and spoken language production in subjects with agrammatic primary progressive aphasia (agPPA) and in subjects with agrammatism in the context of dominant apraxia of speech (DAOS) and to investigate neuroanatomical correlates. Method: Eight agPPA and 21 DAOS subjects performed the picture description task of the Western Aphasia Battery (WAB) both in writing and orally. Responses were transcribed and coded for linguistic analysis. agPPA and DAOS were compared to 13 subjects with primary progressive apraxia of speech (PPAOS) who did not have agrammatism. Spearman correlations were performed between the written and spoken variables. Patterns of atrophy in each group were compared, and relationships between the different linguistic measures and integrity of Broca’s area were assessed. Results: agPPA and DAOS both showed lower mean length of utterance, fewer grammatical utterances, more nonutterances, more syntactic and semantic errors, and fewer complex utterances than PPAOS in writing and speech, as well as fewer correct verbs and nouns in speech. Only verb ratio and proportion of grammatical utterances correlated between modalities. agPPA and DAOS both showed greater involvement of Broca’s area than PPAOS, and atrophy of Broca’s area correlated with proportion of grammatical and ungrammatical utterances and semantic errors in writing and speech. Conclusions: agPPA and DAOS subjects showed similar patterns of agrammatism, although subjects performed differently when speaking versus writing. Integrity of Broca’s area correlates with agrammatism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2337-2346
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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