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Language disorders or language impairments are disorders that involve the processing of linguistic information. Problems that may be experienced can involve
grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the ...
(
syntax In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the ...

syntax
and/or
morphology Morphology, from the Greek and meaning "study of shape", may refer to: Disciplines *Morphology (archaeology) In archaeology, morphology is the study of the shape of Artifact (archaeology), artefacts and ecofacts. Morphology is a major consid ...
),
semantics Semantics (from grc, σημαντικός ''sēmantikós'', "significant") is the study of reference Reference is a relationship between objects in which one object designates, or acts as a means by which to connect to or link to, another ...
(meaning), or other aspects of language. These problems may be receptive (involving impaired language comprehension), expressive (involving language production), or a combination of both. Examples include
specific language impairment Specific language impairment (SLI) (the term developmental language disorder is preferred by some) is diagnosed when a child's language does not develop normally and the difficulties cannot be accounted for by generally slow development, physical a ...
, better defined as
developmental language disorder Developmental language disorder (DLD) is identified when a child has problems with language development that continue into school age and beyond. The language problems have a significant impact on everyday social interactions or educational progress ...
, or DLD, and
aphasia Aphasia is an inability to comprehend or formulate language because of damage to specific brain regions. The major causes are a cerebral vascular accident (stroke) or head trauma. Aphasia can also be the result of brain tumors, brain infections ...

aphasia
, among others. Language disorders can affect both spoken and written language, and can also affect
sign language Sign languages (also known as signed languages) are languages that use the visual-manual modality to convey meaning. Sign languages are expressed through manual articulations in combination with non-manual elements. Sign languages are full-fled ...

sign language
; typically, all forms of language will be impaired. Current data indicates that 7% of young children display language disorder, with boys being diagnosed twice as often as girls. Preliminary research on potential risk factors have suggested biological components, such as
low birth weight Low birth weight (LBW) is defined by the World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous organizations working with the United N ...
,
prematurity
prematurity
, general birth complications, and male gender, as well as family history and low parental education can increase the chance of developing language disorders. For children with phonological and expressive language difficulties, there is evidence supporting
speech and language therapy Speech is human vocal communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), entities or Organization, groups through the use of sufficiently mutua ...
. However, the same therapy is shown to be much less effective for receptive language difficulties. These results are consistent with the poorer prognosis for receptive language impairments that are generally accompanied with problems in reading comprehension. Note that these are distinct from speech disorders, which involve difficulty with the act of speech production, but not with language. Language disorders tend to manifest in two different ways: receptive language disorders (where one cannot properly comprehend language) and expressive language disorders (where one cannot properly communicate their intended message).


Receptive language disorders

Receptive language disorders can be acquired—as in the case of
receptive aphasia Wernicke's aphasia, also known as receptive aphasia, sensory aphasia or posterior aphasia, is a type of aphasia in which individuals have difficulty understanding written and spoken language A spoken language is a language A language is a ...
, or developmental (most often the latter). When developmental, difficulties in spoken language tend to occur before three years of age. Usually such disorders are accompanied by expressive language disorders. However, unique symptoms and signs of a receptive language disorder include: struggling to understand meanings of words and sentences, struggling to put words in proper order, and inability to follow verbal instruction. Treatment options include: language therapy,
special education Special education (known as special-needs education, aided education, exceptional education, exceptional student education, special ed., SEN, or SPED) is the practice of educating students in a way that provides accommodations that address the ...

special education
classes for children at school, and a psychologist if accompanying behavioral problems are present.


Expressive language disorders

Expressive aphasia Expressive aphasia, also known as Broca's aphasia, is a type of aphasia Aphasia is an inability to comprehend or formulate language because of damage to specific brain regions. The major causes are a cerebral vascular accident (stroke) or hea ...
is characterized by partial loss of the ability to produce language, although comprehension generally remains intact; it is typically a result of stroke, trauma, or tumors. Other expressive language disorders may impair not only voice and articulation, but also the mental formation of language, itself. Expressive language disorders can occur during a child's development or they can be acquired. This acquisition usually follows a normal neurological development and is brought about by a number of causes such as head trauma or irradiation. Features of an expressive language disorder vary, but have certain features in common such as: limited vocabulary, inability to produce complex grammar, and more lexical errors. If it is a developmental disorder, the child will have difficulty acquiring new words and grammatical structures. The child will often begin speaking later than his/her peers and progress at a slower rate linguistically. Due to the very nature of these disorders, the child may struggle with academics and socializing with peers. Experts that commonly treat such disorders include speech pathologists and audiologists.


Psychopathology of language

A special class of language disorders is studied by the psychopathology of language. Its topics of interest range from simple
speech error A speech error, commonly referred to as a slip of the tongue (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rom ...
to dream speech and
schizophasia A word salad, or schizophasia, is a "confused or unintelligible mixture of seemingly random words and phrases", most often used to describe a symptom of a neurological or mental disorder. The term schizophasia is used in particular to describe th ...
.


Childhood language disorders

During childhood the most common type of disruption in communication is a language disorder.Justice, Laura, M. and Erin Redle. ''Communication Sciences and Disorders''. Available from: Yuzu, (3rd Edition). Pearson Education (US), 2013. In most cases, language development is predicable and referrals for evaluation may be needed in cases where a child's language development is atypical. Language disorders among children are present when a child is experiencing substantial difficultly regarding their language development. Among young children, language disorders have been associated with higher rates of social difficulties and anxiety.


Specific language impairment

Specific language impairment Specific language impairment (SLI) (the term developmental language disorder is preferred by some) is diagnosed when a child's language does not develop normally and the difficulties cannot be accounted for by generally slow development, physical a ...
(SLI) is a developmental language disorder among children that has no known cause and cannot be attributed to any physical or mental handicap, environmental factors such as deprivation, hearing loss, or any other underlying etiology. SLI is characterized by abnormal development of language that includes a delay in the onset of language, simplification of grammatical structures and difficulty with grammatical morphology, limited vocabulary, and problems understanding complex language. Children with SLI tend to begin speaking at a later age and have a smaller vocabulary than their peers. Among the language disorders that are present during childhood, SLI is one of the most prevalent, affecting roughly 7% of children. While children with specific language impairment have difficulty with language production, they are noted to have normal levels of intelligence.


Autism spectrum disorder

Autism Autism is a developmental disorder Developmental disorders comprise a group of psychiatric conditions originating in childhood that involve serious impairment in different areas. There are several ways of using this term. The most narro ...

Autism
spectrum disorder (ASD) is a term used to define a group of developmental disorders that are characterized by disruption in communication and social abilities, limited eye contact, exhibiting repetitive behaviors, and having limited interests. Due to the fact that autism impacts communication and social interactions, language is affected in most instances.


Acquired neurogenic language disorders

Language disorders that are neurogenic affect the nervous system and result in disruption in language production. The type of language dysfunction that occurs is dependent upon the site, extent, and cause of the brain damage.


Aphasia

Aphasia is a language disorder that is caused by damage to the tissue in the language center in the brain. The type of incident that most often causes Aphasia is stroke but can also occur due to traumatic brain injury, infection, tumors, and degenerative brain disorders. Aphasia is a disorder that is acquired, therefore it occurs in individuals that have already developed language. Aphasia does not affect a person's intellect or speech but Instead affects the formulation of language. All areas of language are affected by aphasia including expressive and receptive language abilities. Symptoms of aphasia vary widely but generally are defined by language deficits that affect fluency, the ability to talk, reading, writing, and comprehension. There are many types of aphasia that vary in symptoms depending upon where in the language center of the brain the damage occurred. The aphasias can be categorized as different aphasic syndromes depending upon the location of lesion and the symptoms that differentiate the aphasias from one another. Global aphasia is a type of aphasia that occurs in people where a large portion of the language center of the brain has been damaged and results in deficits in all modalities of language. Broca's aphasia, also referred to as expressive aphasia, is an aphasic syndrome in which there is damage in left hemisphere, specifically in the Broca's area, of the brain. Broca's aphasia may affect an individual's ability to produce speech while comprehension remains intact.


Traumatic brain injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by neurological damage due to an open or closed head injury. The most frequent causes of head injury include motor vehicle accidents, assault, gun related incidents, and falls, TBI is categorized as either mild, moderate or severe and can affect cognitive, psychosocial, and linguistic skills. Language skills that may be affected include comprehension, motor output, word finding, and difficulties with reading.


Classification

In order to help distinguish between language disorders, they are often categorized as either primary disorders of language, secondary disorders of langue, acquired or developmental. A primary language disorder is one that cannot be attributed to an underlying disorder and is solely responsible for the language disturbance while a secondary language disorder is the result of another disorder. Language disorders can also be categorized as developmental or acquired. A developmental language disorder is present at birth while an acquired language disorder occurs at some point after birth. Acquired language disorders can often be attributed to injuries within the brain due to occurrences such as stroke or
Traumatic brain injury A traumatic brain injury (TBI), also known as an intracranial injury, is an injury to the brain caused by an external force. TBI can be classified based on severity (ranging from mild traumatic brain injury TBI/concussionto severe traumatic ...
.


See also

*
Aphasia Aphasia is an inability to comprehend or formulate language because of damage to specific brain regions. The major causes are a cerebral vascular accident (stroke) or head trauma. Aphasia can also be the result of brain tumors, brain infections ...

Aphasia
*
Auditory processing disorder Auditory processing disorder (APD), rarely known as King-Kopetzky syndrome or auditory disability with normal hearing (ADN), is an umbrella term for a variety of disorders that affect the way the brain processes auditory information. Individuals w ...
*
Broca's area Broca's area, or the Broca area (, also , ), is a region in the frontal lobe of the dominant hemisphere Hemisphere may refer to: * A half of a sphere As half of the Earth * A hemispheres of Earth, hemisphere of Earth ** Northern Hemisphere ** So ...
*
Communication disorder A communication disorder is any disorder that affects an individual's ability to comprehend, detect, or apply language and speech to engage in discourse effectively with others. The delays and disorders can range from simple sound substitution to t ...
*
Dyslexia Dyslexia, also known as reading disorder, is a disorder characterized by difficulty reading Reading is the process of taking in the sense or meaning of letters, symbols, ''etc.'', especially by sight or touch. For educators and researche ...

Dyslexia
*
Expressive aphasia Expressive aphasia, also known as Broca's aphasia, is a type of aphasia Aphasia is an inability to comprehend or formulate language because of damage to specific brain regions. The major causes are a cerebral vascular accident (stroke) or hea ...
*
List of language disorders Bibliography * {{DEFAULTSORT:Language disorders Lists of diseases Communication-related lists Psychology lists ...
*
Receptive aphasia Wernicke's aphasia, also known as receptive aphasia, sensory aphasia or posterior aphasia, is a type of aphasia in which individuals have difficulty understanding written and spoken language A spoken language is a language A language is a ...
* Semantic pragmatic disorder *
Specific language impairment Specific language impairment (SLI) (the term developmental language disorder is preferred by some) is diagnosed when a child's language does not develop normally and the difficulties cannot be accounted for by generally slow development, physical a ...
*
Speech repetition 250px, Children copy with their own mouths the words spoken by the mouths of those around them. That enables them to learn the pronunciation of words not already in their vocabulary. Speech repetition occurs when individuals speech, speak the so ...


References


Further reading

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External links

{{Authority control Communication disorders Neurological disorders Speech and language pathology