Semantic Knowledge Use within Discourse Produced by Individuals with Anomic Aphasia

Kintz, Stephen and Wright, Heather Harris and Fergadiotis, Gerasimos (2014) Semantic Knowledge Use within Discourse Produced by Individuals with Anomic Aphasia. [Clinical Aphasiology Paper]

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Abstract

According to the feature-specific model (Cree & McRae, 2003), semantic knowledge is a distributed network of features that are stored separately and can be impaired separately. These semantic features are the building blocks of the semantic knowledge system and of concepts in general. This has led researchers to using semantic features-based treatments to improve word retrieval abilities in adults with anomic aphasia. Semantic features-based treatments have been used to improve the ability for individuals with aphasia to re-establish connections between the semantic and lexical systems. Researchers have found that semantic features-based treatment, are typically successfully in improving verbal production abilities in adults with aphasia at the word level (Kiran & Roberts, 2010) and discourse (Boyle, 2004; Peach & Reuter, 2010; Rider, Wright, Marshall, & Page, 2008). Recently, researchers have examined the utility of semantic features-based treatment for improving discourse production in adults with aphasia; however, few researchers have examined how the semantic knowledge is used within discourse. Armstrong (2001) examined the lexical patterns of verbs in discourse samples given by four participants with aphasia (PWA) and four healthy participants. Armstrong categorized verbs from personal recounts into one of five semantic-lexical categories (material, relational, mental, verbal, and behavioral). She found that PWA presented with different verb patterns that resulted in restricted communication. Moreover, the PWA had produced few mental and relational verbs. However, Armstrong included only lexical-semantic categories and they are connected by semantic relationships and possibly also grammatical relationships. To expand our knowledge of the appropriateness of using semantic features-based treatments at the discourse level, it important to understand how semantic knowledge is used beyond simply allowing access to lexical items. Unknown is if semantic knowledge use differs in adults with aphasia compared to cognitively healthy adults. These findings could have significant implications for how to apply semantic features-based treatments to improve discourse level abilities in adults with aphasia. To this end, the purpose of the study, then, was to determine if the semantic knowledge and category types used in discourse by participants with anomic aphasia differed from those used by cognitively healthy participants. Certain semantic knowledge types and category types may be more difficult to access, integrate, or maintain in discourse for adults with anomic aphasia because producing discourse is cognitively demanding and requires processes external to lexical and semantic access. Therefore, we hypothesized that the discourse produced by participants with anomic aphasia would differ in the proportion of semantic knowledge and category types used.

Item Type: Clinical Aphasiology Paper
Depositing User: Leo Johnson
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2015
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2016 12:54
Conference: Clinical Aphasiology Conference > Clinical Aphasiology Conference (2014 : 44th : St. Simons Island, GA : May 27-June 1, 2014
URI: http://eprints-prod-05.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/2551

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