Depending on the area(s) of the brain affected, different aspects of language may be impaired in aphasia. Some people with aphasia show the greatest impairment in spoken language production, with a relative sparing of the ability to understand (comprehend) language, whereas others show the opposite pattern. Other people with aphasia have difficulty with reading (i.e., alexia) and/or spelling (dysgraphia).

People with aphasia often show deficits in one or more of the following aspects of language:

  • Word production; naming objects, actions, and/or other entities (anomia)
  • Producing grammatical sentences (agrammatism)
  • Word comprehension (semantic deficits)
  • Sentence comprehension (semantic and/or asyntactic deficits)
  • Reading (alexia)
  • Spelling (dysgraphia)