Lexical access in bilinguals has been debated for the last several decades. Although a large majority of bilingual people often experience aphasia in both languages, some show language-selective disturbances. Yet, selective difficulties in retrieving words that share similar semantic and phonological forms in the two languages have seldom been reported. Here, we report the case of a 45-year-old, right-handed, balanced bilingual subject (Kannada-Malayalam) who presented with aphasia following an episode of stroke. Language evaluation revealed word-selection type of anomia with selective naming disturbance in L2 compared to L1 (in spite of having native-like fluency in L2). On further probing into his anomia, he showed an inability to name cognate words in L2 even after successfully naming them in L1. These observations are discussed in the light of lexical access theories in bilinguals.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Linguistics and Language
- Speech and Hearing