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Re: Madness Again

Dennis wrote:
>         I looked in *Linguistics for Non-Linguists* by Frank
> Parker.  He has a chapter on neurolinguistics.  The closest
> thing to what we want is Wernicke's aphasia, caused by damage
> to the first temporal convolution of the dominant
> hemisphere (usually the left), close to the primary
> auditory cortex.  Basically this symdrome primarily
> affects language comprehension.  However, there are
> surprising influence on the sufferer's language
> expression, due at least part to the fact that
> the sufferer cannot monitor his output.  Speech is
> fluent but full of neologisms.

Actually since Aphasias are caused by the brain damage from a
stroke, the types of Aphasias are merely gross categories,
similar to saying someone has an arm injury vs a leg injury. 
Every patient can be different.  I've seen video taped
interviews with patients whose speech was utterly outlandish,
yet could write with no problem.  The reverse is also a
possibility.  Such a person might not be terribly
distinguishable from a normal person, except maybe a difficulty
in movement on one side of the body.  

>         There are neologisms such as bliver, glover,
> devable, bowling birt or showling birt (bowling shirt).
> Q: What is your speech problem?
> A: Because no one gotta scotta gowan thwa, thirst, gell,
> gerst, derund, gystrol, that's all.

The second is a pretty good example, it's totally
incomprehensible, yet you can see that the neologisms still
follow to normal phonotactic rules to some extent.  There is
also a symptom known as 'perseverance' that involves the
frequent repetitions of endings on words or of words themselves.

I'm not dead set on this Aphasia hypothesis, in fact I think it
very unlikely, but I was just offering it out for what it's
worth.  Such a person could produce a meaningless text that
still seemed to follow allot of the rules for natural language. 
It's a possibilty worth looking at just for the sake of ruling
it out.  The piece of information that rules out something might
also be the piece that points in the right direction.  I'm
curious about looking at a model where Voynich A and Voynich B,
both the languages and the handwritings, were produced by one
person with brain damage or Schizophrenia.  I wonder what reason
might pop up to prove that this is not the case.