Morphology in Picture Descriptions Provided by Persons With Alzheimer's Disease The language of persons with Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been characterized by semantic-conceptual deterioration versus structural preservation, yet the research has not examined possible differentiation between syntactic and morphological knowledge. Taking advantage of the rich morphology of Hebrew, the current paper looks at these two aspects of grammatical knowledge in ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2003
Morphology in Picture Descriptions Provided by Persons With Alzheimer's Disease
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Gitit Kavé, PhD
    The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
  • Yonata Levy
    The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
  • Contact author: Gitit Kavé, PhD, Psychology Department, Hebrew University, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel. E-mail: gkave@012.net.il
Article Information
Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Older Adults & Aging / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2003
Morphology in Picture Descriptions Provided by Persons With Alzheimer's Disease
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2003, Vol. 46, 341-352. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/027)
History: Received May 15, 2002 , Accepted November 18, 2002
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2003, Vol. 46, 341-352. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/027)
History: Received May 15, 2002; Accepted November 18, 2002
Web of Science® Times Cited: 19

The language of persons with Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been characterized by semantic-conceptual deterioration versus structural preservation, yet the research has not examined possible differentiation between syntactic and morphological knowledge. Taking advantage of the rich morphology of Hebrew, the current paper looks at these two aspects of grammatical knowledge in descriptions of the Cookie Theft picture. Speech samples were collected from 14 persons with AD and 48 elderly control participants and analyzed for semantic, syntactic, and morphological knowledge or difficulties. Analyses showed that although persons with AD conveyed less information and made more semantic errors than did control participants, their language remained structurally rich. Persons with AD used the same syntactic structures and the same morphological forms as control participants and made very few structural errors.

Acknowledgments
This work was conducted in partial fulfillment of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. It was supported by doctoral grants to the first author from the Brookdale Institute of Gerontology and Human Development, and Eshel—The Association for the Planning and Development of Services for the Aged in Israel, as well as by a grant from the Israel Foundations Trustees. The authors wish to thank Maya Marcus for her help in collecting and coding the data. We also thank the participants and their caregivers for taking part in this project.
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