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To the Editor.—
I found the article about crossed aphasia appearing in a man with a right cerebral infarction most interesting (Arch Neurol 34:766, 1977). I believe it was well studied and clearly demonstrates crossed aphasia with significant impairment in this man's native Chinese, more so than in his secondary language, English. I disagree most strongly with the statement that this could be related to his early learning of Chinese, an ideographic language based on visual spatial percepts.Although written Chinese utilizes a complex set of nonalphabetized ideographic symbols, in sharp contrast to other languages with alphabets that utilize an abstract set of symbols of more or less phonetic value, the spoken Chinese is basically no different than any other language in that its symbols are purely auditory. No visual spatial concepts are required. Blind Chinese children learn Chinese as blind children of any linguistic group learn their mother tongue.
Winterling CA. Crossed Aphasia in a Chinese Bilingual Dextral. Arch Neurol. 1978;35(10):694. doi:10.1001/archneur.1978.00500340070017
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