Patterns and degree of language loss in bilingual aphasia: a case study of six adult bilingual speakers of English and Kiswahili in Kenya
Obuya, Beatrice G
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This study sought to determine and analyze the phonological, morphological, syntactic and semantic features of both Broca's and Wernicke's aphasia in speech samples from six bilingual adult aphasic speakers of English and Kiswahili at the Kenyatta National Hospital, in Nairobi. . The study hypothesized that Wernicke's aphasics could be characterized by correct syntax but the words would be devoid of meanings. Also that less function words would be used in English as compared to Kiswahili. Collection of data was done by tape recording of the patients' spontaneous speech. The care-givers of the patients were also interviewed regarding speech deficits of the patients' file records from the hospital also provided vital information regarding the patients' condition. The findings of the study confirmed that in English, less content words were used as compared to Kiswahili for the Broca's aphasics and less meaning found in the speech of the Wernicke's aphasics though the syntactical state of the sentences was correct. The results therefore gave convincing evidence for generalized deficit in aphasia. There was no clear pattern in the loss of language in all the six patients but rather each presented different characteristics though a few errors were uniform across patients. We can therefore conclude that aphasia manifests differently in both Kiswahili and English in bilingual aphasic speakers.