Paragramatism: symptoms, causes and treatment

Language is a tool that we use daily to communicate … But what happens when it is altered? Are we aware of what this implies? If we have a brain injury, a stroke, a head injury, an infectious disease of the brain … we may develop some type of aphasia.

Within the aphasias, we find Broca’s aphasia, which is characterized, mainly, because the spontaneous language is altered (it is not fluent). In addition, it also implies another great symptom: paragramatism . In this article we will know what exactly it consists of, its symptoms, its causes and possible treatments for it.

  • Related article: ” The 14 types of languaage disorders

Paragramatism: what is it?

Paragramatism, also called asyntaxia or telegraphic language, consists of an alteration of verbal expression (that is, of spoken language), which typically manifests itself in motor aphasias (also called Broca’s aphasias).

Its main symptom is the appearance, in the speech of the speaker, of syntactically disorganized sentences, together with the use of incorrect grammatical forms when structuring sentences.

Thus, it implies the appearance, in speech, of grammatical errors, and the use of an incorrect temporal mark on verbs. People with paragramatism also use pronouns improperly. All these failures occur in the context of a wide range of grammatical constructions.

In severe cases of paragramatism, the patient’s speech becomes totally intelligible . Thus, in these cases there is also jargon, which consists of a language disorder through which the person replaces the appropriate words with unintelligible terms.

Broca’s Aphasia

As we have seen, paragramatism appears in Broca’s aphasia . Broca’s aphasia implies, at the cerebral level, that the third frontal zirconvolution is injured (that is, areas 44 and 45 of Brodmann). The main symptoms of this type of aphasia, beyond paragramatism, are:

  • A non-fluid spontaneous language
  • The altered name
  • An understanding preserved
  • The altered repetition


To better understand this alteration, some examples of phrases of people with paragramatism are: “I trust you a lot” or “Thursday fail you go to six friends to eat.”


The main symptoms of paragramatism are the following.

1. Faults in the order of words and sequences

The first symptom of paragramatism is a sequence of errors that appear when ordering words and sequences, at a syntactic and / or morphological level .

Thus, people with paragramatism tend to substitute the order of phrases for a set of phrases, which at first glance may seem well structured, but which in reality are not, since there is no coordination or logical connection between them.

2. Exaggeratedly long sentences

Another symptom of paragramatism is an exaggerated length in the sentences. In fact, this length is related to two other alterations: the jargon (already mentioned) and the verbiage . In this case, the verbiage implies the excessive use of words when speaking, which can become a true alteration in the flow of language, at the quantitative level.

In addition, the verbiage is accompanied by other symptoms, such as the prolixity of the speech, the acceleration in the speech and the difficulties to be interrupted.

On the other hand, in the same statement issued by the person, various changes in the communicative thread may appear, which make their language incomprehensible.

3. Substitution of some words

Another symptom is the substitution of certain types of words for others; This occurs with functional words or flexible affixes. Thus, these are replaced by other words belonging to the same semantic field .

Neologisms may also appear, with similarities to the functional word that is replaced. On the other hand, neologisms are “invented words”, as well as expressions of new creation, within a language.

4. Difficulties to adapt the sentences

Another symptom of this alteration of the language, also habitual, is a great difficulty in adapting the different phrases to the existing context .

  • You may be interested: ” The 6 types of aphasia (causes, symptoms and characteristics)


The main cause of paragramatism is Broca’s aphasia, one of the existing types of aphasia. Aphasias are the loss of language function, and are caused by an organic lesion of the brain .

There are multiple types of aphasias. In turn, the causes of aphasia can be several. Some of the most frequent are:

1. Head Injury (TBI)

One of the possible causes of aphasia, which in turn causes paragramatism, is a Head Injury (TBI).

A TBI consists of an injury often caused by a blow to the head , which involves an involvement of the brain; if this affectation covers the areas in charge of language, an aphasia occurs.

2. Brain tumor

Brain tumors can also cause aphasia, if they press on the area (or areas) of the brain responsible for language (s) .

Tumors can be primary (if they originate in the brain tissue itself), or caused by metastasis (which is when a malignant tumor has spread to another part of the body).

3. Stroke (stroke) or stroke

These occur when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted (or when it decreases), which means that the brain cannot oxygenate for a few seconds. What happens many times is that certain groups of neurons die.

LCAs can be hemorrhagic or ischemic . It is estimated that approximately 40% of people who have suffered a stroke or stroke suffer from aphasia.

4. Infectious diseases

Infectious diseases can also cause aphasias, although they are usually temporary aphasias, since, when the infection disappears, so does aphasia. Examples of these types of diseases are: encephalitis, meningitis or brain abscesses .

5. Degenerative diseases

Finally, degenerative diseases can also result in aphasia and this, in turn, in paragramatism. Examples of this type of diseases are: Alzheimer’s, Pick … Aging is usually the cause of this type of diseases.


The treatment of paragramatism involves the treatment of aphasia as a global picture. Mainly, it is decided to perform a neurorehabilitation treatment ; that is, cognitive rehabilitation, which implies a series of exercises, activities and tasks that allow language and communication to work.

On the other hand, we also resort to a speech therapy treatment that allows us to work on the areas affected by aphasia, and in the case at hand, the alterations derived from paragramatism.

Thus, exercises are used that allow, for example, to work the sequences of phrases at a morphological and syntactic level, which require ordering phrases, filling in the missing gaps, discriminating sounds, etc.

Logically, each treatment will be personalized to the type of patient and injury.


Leave a Comment