Abnormal Language

The Tower of Babel, Bruegel.

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


MIT Course Number

9.56J / 24.907J

As Taught In

Fall 2004



Translated Versions


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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.

Hirsch, Christopher, and Ken Wexler. 9.56J Abnormal Language, Fall 2004. (MIT OpenCourseWare: Massachusetts Institute of Technology), http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/brain-and-cognitive-sciences/9-56j-abnormal-language-fall-2004 (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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