Language skills of various types are covered by this domain—oral, written, one’s abilities to comprehend and express in these modes,  to find words and names quickly by category or sound.  Problems in this area are referred to as aphasia.  To learn more about aphasia click here.


Speech motor planning (oral motor muscle control) and language comprehension are important functions needed for verbal communication with others.  The speech motor planning centers of the brain, also called Broca’s area, is located near the inferior end of the motor strip.  It is in charge of quick, intricate movements of oral muscles and structures needed to produce specific sounds. The process of generating language is often referred to as expressive language skills.

Another language function is called receptive language skills, or comprehension.  The language comprehension portion of the brain, also called Wernicke’s area, is in charge of semantic (vocabulary) storage, phrase/sentence formulation with proper grammar (syntax), appropriate use of vocabulary/grammar in conversation, and language comprehension.  Both the speech motor planning area and language area are interconnected by the arcuate fasciculus and interdependent.  Verbal language cannot be achieved without functional speech motor planning, and speech production may not be intelligible to the listener if vocabulary is misused or syntax is out of order.