Effects of Apparent Listener Knowledge and Picture Stimuli on Aphasic and Non-Brain-Damaged Speakers’ Narrative Discourse This experiment investigated whether aphasic adults’ assumptions regarding listener knowledge of the topic of discourse affects the content of their narrative discourse. Aphasic and non-brain-damaged adults told two stories about sequences of black-and-white line drawings in two conditions. In a knowledgeable listener condition, subjects told the stories to a listener ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 1991
Effects of Apparent Listener Knowledge and Picture Stimuli on Aphasic and Non-Brain-Damaged Speakers’ Narrative Discourse
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Robin Brenneise-Sarshad
    Knapp Rehabilitation Center Minneapolis, MN
  • Linda E. Nicholas
    Veterans Medical Center and University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Robert H. Brookshire
    Veterans Medical Center and University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Requests for reprints should be sent to Linda E. Nicholas, M.A., Speech Pathology Section (127A), VA Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN 55417.
Article Information
Language Disorders / Aphasia / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 1991
Effects of Apparent Listener Knowledge and Picture Stimuli on Aphasic and Non-Brain-Damaged Speakers’ Narrative Discourse
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1991, Vol. 34, 168-176. doi:10.1044/jshr.3401.168
History: Received October 9, 1989 , Accepted April 27, 1990
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1991, Vol. 34, 168-176. doi:10.1044/jshr.3401.168
History: Received October 9, 1989; Accepted April 27, 1990

This experiment investigated whether aphasic adults’ assumptions regarding listener knowledge of the topic of discourse affects the content of their narrative discourse. Aphasic and non-brain-damaged adults told two stories about sequences of black-and-white line drawings in two conditions. In a knowledgeable listener condition, subjects told the stories to a listener while the subject and listener were looking at the pictures portraying the story. In a naive listener condition, subjects told the stories to a listener whom the subject had not met before, who did not have access to pictures about the stories, and who the subject was led to believe had no knowledge of the pictures upon which the stories were based. The differences in performance between non-brain-damaged and aphasic subjects were greater than the differences between listener conditions and between stories. Non-brain-damaged subjects produced significantly more words, more information, a greater percentage of words that communicated relevant and accurate information, and longer grammatical units than aphasic subjects did. There were no significant differences between non-brain-damaged and aphasic subjects in their use of four kinds of cohesive ties. Listener conditions and stories had few significant effects on non-brain-damaged or aphasic subjects’ performance, and the few statistically significant effects that were observed did not appear to be clinically important.

Acknowledgments
The research reported here was supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Research Service and by an award from Communication Skill Builders. This report represents a Master of Arts thesis completed by author Brenneise-Sarshad in the Department of Communication Disorders at the University of Minnesota.
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