Date of Award
Communication Sciences and Disorders
Background: Fluent and nonfluent aphasia are both seen to exhibit varying degrees of morphosyntactic difficulties, with particular difficulties in verb tense production. There is disagreement regarding why tense is particularly impaired, which type of aphasia is more impaired and why, and whether some tense forms are more impaired than others. There is also evidence that language elicitation tasks affect language production measures because they require different linguistic and cognitive processes. This is likely also true for verb tense production. To date, no studies have examined discourse elicitation task effect on verb tense production in both fluent and nonfluent aphasia. The purpose of this study was to investigate verb tense production deficits across elicitation tasks in people with nonfluent aphasia, fluent aphasia, and without aphasia.
Methods: This study analyzed verb tense production within six elicitation tasks from four different task types using the transcripts of 23 participants with nonfluent aphasia, 20 participants with fluent aphasia, and 27 healthy controls. Percent of each verb tense was calculated for each elicitation task and participant.
Results: In past tense comparisons, there was a significant group effect, task effect, and interaction effect. For the present tense, there was a significant task effect, and interaction effect, but no group effect. In future tense, there was a significant group effect, but no task effect or interaction effect. In the imperative tense, there was a significant group effect, task effect, and interaction effect. In the unknown tense, there was a significant group effect, task effect, and interaction effect.
Discussion: The results indicate that there are significant differences in verb production between people without aphasia, people with nonfluent aphasia, and people with fluent aphasia. Findings support the literature that suggests that past tense production in people with nonfluent aphasia may be selectively impaired. The existence of a task effect on verb tense production was supported. These findings are important for clinicians and researchers in understanding the morphosyntactic skills in aphasia treatment and assessment.
Zurbrugg, Madeline Ann, "Verb Tense Production Differences across Various Discourse Tasks in People with Fluent and Nonfluent Aphasia" (2023). Honors Theses. 2856.
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