This paper describes preliminary studies on a screening test for aphasia which takes 3-10 minutes to complete and which is suitable for use by general practitioners, junior medical staff and other non-specialists. Data are presented to show that it is a reliable, valid assessment. Using cut-off values derived from normal people, the test is sensitive, but its specificity is limited by such associated factors as hemianopia. Using cut-off values derived from patients known to have aphasia, its specificity is improved. An abnormal result needs to be interpreted in the light of all available clinical information. The test should help identify patients with linguistic disturbance.