Scientific Committee: Stefania Capizzuto, Paola Orlando, Paola Steffani.
Founded by
Adriana De Filippis
Periodicity: january, may, october

Vol. 13, n. 1, 2017

Table of Contents

Stefania Capizzuto Paola Orlando Paola Steffani


Ricerca internazionale

Balthasar Bickel Alena Witzlack-Makarevich Kamal K. Choudhary Matthias Schlesewsky Ina Bornkessel-Schlesewsky

The neurophysiology of language processing shapes the evolution of grammar: Evidence from case marking

DOI: 10.14605/LOG1311701

Do principles of language processing in the brain affect the way grammar evolves over time or is language change just a matter of socio-historical contingency? While the balance of evidence has been ambiguous and controversial, we identify here a neurophysiological constraint on the processing of language that has a systematic effect on the evolution of how noun phrases are marked by case. In neurophysiological experiments across diverse languages we found that during processing, participants initially interpret the first base-form noun phrase they hear as an agent, even when the sentence later requires the interpretation of a patient role. We show that this processing principle is also operative in Hindi, a language where initial base-form noun phrases most commonly denote patients because many agents receive a special case marker and are often left out in discourse. This finding suggests that the principle is species-wide and independent of the structural affordances of specific languages. As such, the principle favors the development and maintenance of case-marking systems that equate base-form cases with agents rather than with patients. We confirm this evolutionary bias by statistical analyses of phylogenetic signals in over 600 languages worldwide, controlling for confounding effects from language contact. Our findings suggest that at least one core property of grammar systematically adapts in its evolution to the neurophysiological conditions of the brain, independently of socio-historical factors. This opens up new avenues for understanding how specific properties of grammar have developed in tight interaction with the biological evolution of our species.


Sara Lovotti Elena Gandolfi Danilo Diotti Paola Viterbori

Expressive morphosyntax abilities in SLI: Proposal of a new evaluation task

DOI: 10.14605/LOG1311702

Expressive morphosyntax deficits have been recognised as markers of Specific Language Impairment (SLI). The number of standardised tasks available to assess morphosyntax abilities in preschool age is still limited. Even though the wrong production of verbs and free morphemes is considered as a marker of specific expressive morphosyntactic impairment, no tasks assessing these skills have been developed for the Italian language. The principal aim of this study is the development of a battery to assess different aspects of expressive morphosyntax: articles, object clitics, verbs and prepositions. A sample of children with SLI was compared with a sample of younger typically developing children on the morphosyntax battery. The results indicate that the battery could be useful in the diagnostic process.

The current, increasingly rapid, technological development offers new and remarkable supporting possibilities, within the field of educational and rehabilitative intervention, for people with serious communication impairments in all age ranges. However, choosing among types of applications software (App), which are useful to satisfy complex communication needs and to promote participation in everyday life, is far from easy. Indeed, this choice requires instruments that successfully keep up with the continuous update of knowledge within this ambit, through both a specific and multidisciplinary clinical approach. Speech and Language Therapists, working with Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC), have the impending need to identify the instruments suitable for defining the pertinence of existing applications, in order to assess their actual compatibility with a wide range of communication needs and personal and contextual variables. The aim of this study is to introduce to Colleagues an array of instruments planned with this goal.


Chiara Mezzedimi Maria Luigia Tomai Pitinca Francesca Mansi Walter Livi Paola Staffa

Logopedic treatment in laryngeal granuloma: perspectives and results

DOI: 10.14605/LOG1311705

Laryngeal granuloma, the most common lesion of the posterior glottis, is mainly caused by vocal abuse, intubation and gastroesophageal reflux. Current therapeutic options, possibly guided by etiology, involve botulinium toxin injection, speech therapy and surgical or medical therapies. The choice of a speech therapy approach is controversial and varied. In the present study, the «modified Bergamini-Luppi» protocol, integrated with exercises inspired by the proprioceptive-elastic method, has been proposed to 26 patients. Our analysis shows that the proposed approach has an effective outcome in the majority of cases. The granuloma was expelled in the fifth or to the utmost within the eighth session in all treated patients. Only one patient had a contralateral recurrence. In our experience, the application of this protocol has shown positive results, with the resolution of the disease and the absence of recurrence in almost all cases.


Maria Valeria Di Martino Marina Accornero Maria Cristina Mondiello Pasquale D’Errico Eugenio Tremante

Evaluation record for taking charge of the patient after laryngectomy

DOI: 10.14605/LOG1311704

In Italy cancer of the larynx is the most common tumour of the head and neck, with a higher prevalence in males. After diagnosis of laryngeal CA, surgery is the first choice of treatment and the type of intervention is chosen according to tumour staging and patient characteristics (sex, age, comorbidities, socio-cultural level). After surgery, which is more or less extensive, impairment of various laryngeal and extralaryngeal functions occurs. The aim of this paper is to illustrate a tool for the early management of patients after a laryngectomy. The Evaluation of Rehabilitation Needs record was used during hospitalisation in the UOC (Operative Unit) of Otolaryngology in the Azienda Ospedaliera dei Colli, Naples, by a multidisciplinary team, and was employed for 34 patients operated on in the years 2014 and 2015. The record allowed us to highlight, using the ICF components, the rehabilitative priority of each person, and the development of an individual rehabilitation project with the description of the objectives and specific programmes needed to achieve them.