Comprehension of wh-questions in Turkish-German bilinguals with aphasia: A dual-case study

Arslan, S. & Felser, C., 2018, In : Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics. 32, 7, p. 640-660 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

The aim of our study was to examine the extent to which linguistic approaches to sentence comprehension deficits in aphasia can account for differential impairment patterns in the comprehension of wh-questions in bilingual persons with aphasia (PWA). We investigated the comprehension of subject and object wh-questions in both Turkish, a wh-in-situ language, and German, a wh-fronting language, in two bilingual PWA using a sentence-to-picture matching task. Both PWA showed differential impairment patterns in their two languages. SK, an early bilingual PWA, had particular difficulty comprehending subject which-questions in Turkish but performed normal across all conditions in German. CT, a late bilingual PWA, performed more poorly for object which-questions in German than in all other conditions, whilst in Turkish his accuracy was at chance level across all conditions. We conclude that the observed patterns of selective cross-linguistic impairments cannot solely be attributed either to difficulty with wh-movement or to problems with the integration of discourse-level information. Instead our results suggest that differences between our PWA's individual bilingualism profiles (e.g. onset of bilingualism, premorbid language dominance) considerably affected the nature and extent of their impairments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)640-660
Number of pages21
JournalClinical Linguistics & Phonetics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Bilingual aphasia, wh-questions, Turkish-German bilingualism, wh-in-situ, wh-movement, AGRAMMATIC BROCAS APHASIA, SENTENCE COMPREHENSION, EYE-TRACKING, LANGUAGE, VERB, IMPAIRMENT, MOVEMENT, SPEAKERS, SUBJECT, BASQUE

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