Recurrent episodes of speech arrest were observed in a man as the primary manifestation of a partial seizure disorder. To determine whether speech arrest was associated with a language disorder, the Syntactic Comprehension test was administered during and after speech arrest. This test does not depend upon speech production, but evaluates ability to comprehend sentences in which meaning depends on syntactic relationships. Using this test, we were able to show that speech arrest was associated with a language disturbance. © 1981 American Academy of Neurology.