The Role of Target Word Stress in Auditory Comprehension by Aphasic Listeners The present investigation was designed to determine the influence of stressed word prosody on auditory comprehension by listeners with aphasia. Paragraph-length narratives were computer-edited to yield two conditions. In one condition, both the target words and the surrounding context were prosodically neutral; in the second condition, target words were stressed ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 1991
The Role of Target Word Stress in Auditory Comprehension by Aphasic Listeners
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mikael D.Z. Kimelman
    Department of Communication Disorders Louisiana State University Medical Center
  • Requests for reprints should be sent to Mikael D. Z. Kimelman, Graduate Department of Speech Pathology, University of Toronto, 88 College Street, Toronto, Canada M5G 1L4.
Article Information
Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 1991
The Role of Target Word Stress in Auditory Comprehension by Aphasic Listeners
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1991, Vol. 34, 334-339. doi:10.1044/jshr.3402.334
History: Received December 11, 1989 , Accepted July 13, 1990
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1991, Vol. 34, 334-339. doi:10.1044/jshr.3402.334
History: Received December 11, 1989; Accepted July 13, 1990

The present investigation was designed to determine the influence of stressed word prosody on auditory comprehension by listeners with aphasia. Paragraph-length narratives were computer-edited to yield two conditions. In one condition, both the target words and the surrounding context were prosodically neutral; in the second condition, target words were stressed and the surrounding contexts were prosodically neutral. The paragraph-length stimuli were presented to 10 aphasic listeners and their comprehension was tested. Analysis revealed that prosodic information carried only by stressed target words, within paragraph-length stimuli, did not provide significant comprehension benefits to aphasic listeners. The comprehension improvement typically observed when paragraph-length narratives are stressed is, therefore, most likely due to prosodic cues that precede stress-bearing target words.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by a grant from the School of Allied Health Professions, Louisiana State University Medical Center. I want to thank the Audiology and Speech Pathology Service at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in New Orleans and the Department of Speech-Language Pathology at Touro Infirmary for their assistance with subject recruitment. I also want to thank Michelle Gremiilon for assisting with data collection. The editorial suggestions of Connie A. Tompkins, Robert H. Brookshire and an anonymous reviewer were greatly appreciated.
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