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INTRODUCTION. The clinical examination of language should form part of the general examination of the mental state in patients with diffuse cognitive disorders, intellectual disorders, disorders of memory, etc. OBJECTIVE. To focus the examination of language towards understanding and classification of linguistic activity, through study of aphasia. DEVELOPMENT.We analyze the semiological diversity of aphasia and most relevant clinical forms using a diagnostic decision tree to consider the clinical, neuropsychological and neuroanatomical characteristics. The more detailed the study of the aphasic disorder, the more difficult it is to fit the case into a particular clinical type. In fact, as may be seen from current publications, there are more and more studies of aphasic persons considered to have unclassifiable aphasia. The more and more detailed studies of neuropsychological disorders mean that we now find terms such as primary progressive aphasia, semantic dementia and anarthria or progressive aphemia. This groups of abnormal linguistic features appearing in patients with focal degenerative illness may lead to some confusion, not only in the clinicosemiological sphere but also with regard to diagnosis, classification and evolution of the disorder.