Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Phrase Length

  • Julie GriffithEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_913


Breath group; Intonation phrase; Prosodic phrase


One or more words that convey a single idea and may or may not adhere to grammatical conventions to form a complete phrase or sentence. “Phrase length” is demarcated in connected speech at the end of a clear pitch contour and/or at the period of silence during which the speaker pauses for a breath.

Phrase length has been used to classify types of aphasia into fluent or nonfluent (Goodglass et al. 2001). People with fluent aphasia produce phrase lengths with at least five to six words, while people with nonfluent aphasia produce three to four word phrases.


References and Readings

  1. Goodglass, H., Quadfasel, F. A., & Timberlake, W. H. (1964). Phrase length and the type and severity of aphasia. Cortex, 1, 139–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Goodglass, H., Kaplan, E., & Barresi, B. (2001). The assessment of aphasia and related disorders (3rd ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar
  3. Reed, B. S. (2009). Units of interaction: ‘Intonation phrases’ or ‘turn constructional phrases’? Proceedings of ICD, 9, 351–363.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Speech Pathology and AudiologyBall State UniversityMuncieUSA