Neurolinguistics is the study of how the human brain enables us to produce and comprehend language, to speak creatively and to understand different words and phrases. The main aim of this paper is to analyze the interconnection between language and the brain and to examine the question asked by Obler and Gjerlow (1999:1) about what linguistic problems of brain damaged people can tell us concerning the ability of the human brain to express and comprehend words and phrases. Firstly, I will very briefly discuss the neuroanatomical structures in the brain and give an overall view of the two hemispheres and the areas of language functions. Secondly, I will illustrate “aphasia”, the defect of language function caused by brain damage by focusing on the three main types: Broca’s-, Wernicke’s- and Conduction aphasia. Third I will focus on a specific case of someone suffering from Broca’s aphasia.
2. The human Brain
According to Fromkin and Rodman (1998: 34) one of the most complex organs in the human body is the brain. It is located under the skull and consists of about 10 billion nerve cells or neurons. The cerebral cortex is formed by those neurons or gray matter, as they are also called, and is the surface of the brain. It covers the cerebrum, as shown in Figure 1, which is the largest part of the brain and is divided into two lobes, the left and right cerebral hemispheres. Those two hemispheres are connected by nerve fibers which are called corpus callosum. As it is shown in Dr. Campbell’s handout for the Introduction to Linguistics (2005: 21) the left hemisphere especially is responsible for language, analytical and serial processing, calculation, associative thought and temporal judgement and not to forget for the right visual field which means, when you pick up a glass of water with your right hand, the left hemisphere controls your action. The same is true for the right hemisphere which controls movements