Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2021

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Hyejin Park

Second Advisor

Myriam Kornisch

Third Advisor

Carolyn Higdon

Relational Format



Background: Previous research has shown that persons with non-fluent aphasia (PWNFA) suffer from the inability to retrieve words, specifically more of a difficulty with verb productions. Various discourse elicitation tasks have shown to have differing effects on verb retrievals in this population. However, there is a lack of research on the relationship between single vs. sequential picture description tasks and the productions of heavy and light verbs in persons with non-fluent aphasia.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to analyze the ratios of heavy and light verbs produced in both single picture description tasks and sequential picture description tasks in persons with aphasia. Methods: Thirty persons with non-fluent aphasia and 20 healthy control group participant’s verb productions were analyzed for the two discourse tasks (single and sequential picture description tasks). The heavy verb ratio and light verb ratio were then found by counting all of the verbs and coding them as light or heavy. Two by two repeated ANOVA tests and post-hoc Bonferroni tests were then conducted in each separate group.

Results: The results of this study found that the healthy control group produced a significantly higher light verb ratio in the single picture description task and non-significant results for the heavy verb ratio. On the other hand, the PWNFA group had an advantage with a higher heavy verb ration in the single picture description task. Additionally, there were no significant findings in the light verb ratios between tasks.

Discussion: Results indicated that visual stimuli in the single picture description task facilitate the semantic system in PWNFA. These findings have important implications for clinicians when working on verb retrieval abilities with PWNFA. Thus, certain discourse elicitation tasks may be more beneficial for certain goals.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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