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Bilingualism and memory: early 19th Century ideas about the significance of Polyglot Aphasia

Lorch, Marjorie (2007) Bilingualism and memory: early 19th Century ideas about the significance of Polyglot Aphasia. Cortex 43 (5), 658 - 666. ISSN 0010-9452.

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In the second half of the 19th century, there was very little attention given to bilingual speakers within the growing clinical literature on aphasia. The first major publication on this topic (Pitres, 1895), appeared three decades after Broca's seminal work. Previously, Ribot (1881) had discussed the phenomenon of bilingual aphasia in the context of diseases of memory. Although interest in the neurological basis of the language faculty was in fact present throughout the century, the theoretical implications of the knowledge of more than one language did not appear to be linked to this issue. A number of British authors writing in the first half of the 19th century have been identified who did consider the significance of these cases. Importantly, these writers speculated on the implication of bilingual aphasia specifically with regard to ideas about memory rather than language. Consideration of these writings helps to illuminate the history of ideas about the organization of language in the brain.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): bilingual aphasia, memory, Pitres, Ribot, history of neuroscience
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Applied Linguistics and Communication
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2011 10:41
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2016 13:32

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