The Handbook of the Neuropsychology of Language

The Handbook of the Neuropsychology of Language

The Handbook of the Neuropsychology of Language

The Handbook of the Neuropsychology of Language

Synopsis

This handbook provides a comprehensive review of new developments in the study of the relationship between the brain and language, from the perspectives of both basic research and clinical neuroscience.
  • Includes contributions from an international team of leading figures in brain-language research
  • Features a novel emphasis on state-of-the-art methodologies and their application to the central questions in the brain-language relationship
  • Incorporates research on all parts of language, from syntax and semantics to spoken and written language
  • Covers a wide range of issues, including basic level and high level linguistic functions, individual differences, and neurologically intact and different clinical populations

Excerpt

The capacity for language is generally acknowledged as one of the characteristics of what it is to be human. Onkelos, a second-century ce translator of the Old Testament into Aramaic, the then common language of the Middle East, makes this point vividly. in Genesis chapter 2, verse 7, the Bible concisely describes the creation of man in the following manner: “The lord god formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul.” Back translating from Onkelos’ Aramaic to modern English, the expression “man became a living soul” becomes “and it became in Adam a discoursing spirit.” Thus, according to Onkelos, language, the innate desire and ability to discourse with others, breathed into Adam by the lord god, constitutes the essence of the human spirit – what many today would prefer to term the human mind.

This two-volume book consists of 46 chapters that present the most current state-of-the-art understanding of how the above innate capacity for language and discourse is embodied in the brain. These chapters were authored by scientists from a variety of disciplines concerned with the theoretical and clinical implications of the brain – language relationship. Specifically, these chapters are concerned with the bidirectional nature of these implications and this relationship. Accordingly, they explicate what the brain can teach us about language as well as how advances in our understanding of language require that we expand our comprehension of the brain. in addition, the chapters of Volume 1 describe basic research into the brain– language relationship and attempt to show how theories describing this relationship can contribute to our ability to cope with problems associated with the use of language. the chapters of Volume 2 describe how various clinical phenomena can motivate the theoretical work described in Volume 1. the book thus relates to some of the modern hot debates concerning brain–language relationship, including nature versus nurture, basic versus applied clinical research, and the interactions between genetics, early experiences, and later events such as multilingualism and brain injury.

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