universal agrammar

A couple of alternative possible hypotheses about agrammaticality:

1. every grammatical loss is coordinated with a distinct grammatical function and a distinct neural network or even neural link: many grammatical deficits, many locations

2. all the grammatical losses are coordinated to some one underlying grammatical function and one neural network or neural modus operandi or even one neural link: one underlying grammatical source, one failed network or mode

3. some of the grammatical losses are coordinated, others are distinct: some consolidated underlying grammatical sources, some networks

Hypothesis (1) leads to the least information and interest; (2), the most, and (3) the most likely.

I’ve noticed a few related losses. Can any of these [be] characterized as one grammatical function (like “loss of functional elements”) without rendering the description meaningless (like “loss of grammar”)?

a) syncopation of “be”

b) syncopation of prepositions

c) tip-of-the-tongue retrieval failures

d) mistaken part of speech (adjective for noun)

e) loss of adages

f) tip-of-the-tongue compounds

g) pleonastic verb complexes

h) pleonastic particles and quantifiers (also, all)

i) “a close second” metathesis. I’m not sure how to describe: I jumped the second word?

j) wrong or too much grammatical structure, superfluous structure

k) preference for underived words (“depleted in nutrition” instead of the normal “nutritional depletion”)

l) agent/object conflation

m) agent/patient conflation

n) stress shift

o) loss of retrieval of familiar words

p) tipofthetongue familiar words

Some of these fall into natural categories, others suggest some underlying relation. Overall, there are two main categories, functional elements of syntax (be, pleonastic verbs and particles, syncopation of verbs, superfluous structure, agreement, agent/object and agent/patient conflation) and retrieval (compounds, tipofthetongue, loss of adages, familiar words). It’s suggestive then, that retrieval and syntax may be related mechanisms.  There’s some evidence that retrieval is a branching network, just as syntax clearly is.


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