9.56J / 24.907J Abnormal Language

Fall 2004

The Tower of Babel, Bruegel.
The Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. (Image from the WebMuseum Web site. Photographs of Bruegel works in WebMuseum by Mark Harden and Carol Gerten-Jackson.)

Course Highlights

This course features a complete bibliography of readings.

Course Description

Introduction to the linguistic study of language pathology, concentrating on experimental approaches and theoretical explanations. Discussion of Specific Language Impairment, autism, Down syndrome, Williams syndrome, normal aging, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, hemispherectomy and aphasia. Focuses on the comparison of linguistic abilities among these syndromes, while drawing clear comparisons with first and second language acquisition. Topics include the lexicon, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics. Relates the lost linguistic abilities in these syndromes to properties of the brain.

*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.

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Prof. Ken Wexler
Mr. Christopher Hirsch

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session


Undergraduate / Graduate