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A multi-level approach to the analysis of narrative language in aphasia
Andrea Marini, Sara Andreetta, Silvana Del Tin, Sergio Carlomagno, 2011, original scientific article

Abstract: Several studies have shown that traditional standardised aphasia tests may not be sensitive enough to adequately assess linguistic deficits and recovery patterns in persons with aphasia. As a result, both functional and structural methods for the ana- lysis of connected language samples from people with aphasia have been devised (see Armstrong, 2000; Prins & Bastiaanse, 2004). The present article focuses on our attempt to provide a comprehensive, multi-level procedure for both structural and functional analysis of narrative discourse produced by speakers with brain damage. Accordingly, we will describe a method for analysis of connected language samples elicited on single picture and cartoon story description tasks. This method has proven sensitive in the assessment of language deficits in many neurogenic populations. A comprehensive description of the language production sys- tem, a thorough discussion of the different approaches to discourse analysis in persons with aphasia, and the procedure for the analysis of narrative discourse are detailed. The characteristics of the eliciting stimuli, the procedures for their administration and the transcription of the language samples are carefully explained. The analysis focuses on four main aspects of linguistic processing: productivity, lexical and grammatical pro- cessing, narrative organisation, and informativeness. To further illustrate the analytic procedure, two case reports and an appendix with the analysis of a narrative sample are provided. We will provide direct evidence of the usefulness of the multi-level procedure for discourse analysis for assessing changes in discourse performance of two persons with fluent aphasia, with different aetiologies, that were not captured by tradi- tional standardised aphasia tests. The method of analysis presented in this paper has strong grounds in linguistic and psychological theories of linguistic structure and functioning. It also has the advantage of being both quantitative and functional as it captures selective aspects of linguistic processing, and can provide relevant information about the person's communicative and informative skills.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Keywords: aphasia, language, narrative analysis
Published: 07.03.2016; Views: 1444; Downloads: 1
.pdf Fulltext (193,37 KB)

Narrative discourse in anomic aphasia
Andrea Marini, Anna Cantagallo, Sara Andreetta, 2012, original scientific article

Abstract: Anomic aphasia is a disturbance affecting lexical retrieval. Nonetheless, persons with this disorder may also experience difficulties in the construction of coherent narratives. Whether this symptom is a sign of a macrolinguistic difficulty per se or reflects the lexical disorder is still an open debate. In order to analyze the effect of the lexical impairment on macrolinguistic processing, we compared the narrative skills of a group of ten participants with chronic anomic aphasia with those of ten healthy control individuals matched for age and educational level. The anomic participants produced narratives with lowered speech rate, reduced mean length of utterance, fewer grammatically well-formed sentences, more semantic paraphasias. The macrolinguistic analysis showed that they also produced more errors of cohesion and global coherence and fewer lexical information units. Interestingly, their levels of thematic selection were normal. A bivariate correlational analysis showed a strong correlation between the production of errors of cohesion and production of complete sentences, and between production of errors of global coherence and lexical information units. These correlations showed that aspects related to lexical retrieval may affect macrolinguistic processing during the construction of a narrative. Indeed, it is suggested that lexical deficits lead to two main consequences: First, patients with anomia frequently interrupt the utterances they are producing and this reduces the levels of sentence completeness and the overall degree of cohesion across the utterances; Second, they use strategies to cope with the lexical impairment and produce a quantity of lexical fillers and repetitions that, clustered in utterances, reduce the levels of global coherence.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Keywords: aphasia, neurolinguistics, speech disorders, discourse analysis
Published: 07.03.2016; Views: 1549; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (391,66 KB)

The effect of lexical deficits on narrative disturbances in fluent aphasia
Andrea Marini, Sara Andreetta, 2015, original scientific article

Abstract: Background: The label “fluent aphasia” applies to different aphasic syndromes char- acterised by fluent speech with difficulties in lexical retrieval and/or grammatical processing. Aims: This study aims at investigating microlinguistic and macrolinguistic skills in persons with fluent aphasia. We hypothesised that their lexical and syntactic (i.e., microlinguistic) difficulties would affect also their narrative (i.e., macrolinguistic) skills. Methods & Procedures: Growing evidence shows that traditional tests may not be sensitive enough to capture the patterns of the linguistic impairments observed in these persons. Therefore, we used a narrative task to elicit linguistic samples. Spontaneous speech was elicited through a picture description task. The narrative samples were analysed with a multilevel approach that allows clinicians to quantify their productivity levels as well as their lexical, grammatical, and narrative skills. The spontaneous speech produced by a group of 20 persons with fluent aphasia was compared to that of a group of 20 healthy participants. All participants with aphasia were in the phase of neurological stability. The two groups were matched for age and level of formal education. Outcomes & Results: Results showed that the lexical impairment observed in the group of participants with fluent aphasia hampered the ability to produce well-formed sentences that, in turn, lowered the levels of cohesion of their narrative samples. Furthermore, the reduced levels of lexical informativeness were found correlated also to the production of errors of global coherence. Conclusions: These findings support the hypothesis that in these patients, microlin- guistic difficulties might affect macrolinguistic processing. Furthermore, these results stress the importance of a multilevel approach to assess linguistic skills in patients with fluent aphasia, as it assesses both microlinguistic and macrolinguistic dimensions in parallel. Therefore, it allows linguists, psychologists, and clinicians to observe how the linguistic levels interact during natural language processing.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Keywords: neurolinguistics, aphasia, discourse analysis, coherence
Published: 07.03.2016; Views: 1644; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (255,80 KB)

Narrative discourse in anomic aphasia
Sara Andreetta, Anna Cantagallo, Andrea Marini, 2012, original scientific article

Found in: ključnih besedah
Keywords: afazija, govorne motnje, nevropsihologija, analiza diskurza, aphasia, neurolinguistics, speech disorders, discourse analysis
Published: 09.05.2017; Views: 1307; Downloads: 4
URL Fulltext (0,00 KB)

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