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January 1990

Alalia, Aphemia, and Aphasia

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Cognitive Neuroscience and Aging, Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, and Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Arch Neurol. 1990;47(1):85-88. doi:10.1001/archneur.1990.00530010107028

• In the 1860s, vigorous debate followed Paul Broca's seminal aphasiological observations. Scientific, philosophical, and personal disagreements affected ensuing nosological disputes. Competing terms to designate disorders of speech and language were alalia (used by Jacques Lordat), aphemia (coined by Broca), and the ultimately triumphant aphasia (introduced by Armand Trousseau). How these designations came into being, how they were used, and how they were received by the scientific community reflected controversies surrounding the birth of modern aphasiology.