Grammatical Planning Units During Real-Time Sentence Production in Speakers With Agrammatic Aphasia and Healthy Speakers Purpose Grammatical encoding (GE) is impaired in agrammatic aphasia; however, the nature of such deficits remains unclear. We examined grammatical planning units during real-time sentence production in speakers with agrammatic aphasia and control speakers, testing two competing models of GE. We queried whether speakers with agrammatic aphasia produce sentences word ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2015
Grammatical Planning Units During Real-Time Sentence Production in Speakers With Agrammatic Aphasia and Healthy Speakers
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jiyeon Lee
    Purdue University, Lafayette, IN
  • Masaya Yoshida
    Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
  • Cynthia K. Thompson
    Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Jiyeon Lee: lee1704@purdue.edu
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Kristine Lundgren
    Associate Editor: Kristine Lundgren×
Article Information
Development / Language Disorders / Aphasia / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2015
Grammatical Planning Units During Real-Time Sentence Production in Speakers With Agrammatic Aphasia and Healthy Speakers
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2015, Vol. 58, 1182-1194. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-14-0250
History: Received September 8, 2014 , Revised January 24, 2015 , Accepted April 19, 2015
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2015, Vol. 58, 1182-1194. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-14-0250
History: Received September 8, 2014; Revised January 24, 2015; Accepted April 19, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 4

Purpose Grammatical encoding (GE) is impaired in agrammatic aphasia; however, the nature of such deficits remains unclear. We examined grammatical planning units during real-time sentence production in speakers with agrammatic aphasia and control speakers, testing two competing models of GE. We queried whether speakers with agrammatic aphasia produce sentences word by word without advanced planning or whether hierarchical syntactic structure (i.e., verb argument structure; VAS) is encoded as part of the advanced planning unit.

Method Experiment 1 examined production of sentences with a predefined structure (i.e., “The A and the B are above the C”) using eye tracking. Experiment 2 tested production of transitive and unaccusative sentences without a predefined sentence structure in a verb-priming study.

Results In Experiment 1, both speakers with agrammatic aphasia and young and age-matched control speakers used word-by-word strategies, selecting the first lemma (noun A) only prior to speech onset. However, in Experiment 2, unlike controls, speakers with agrammatic aphasia preplanned transitive and unaccusative sentences, encoding VAS before speech onset.

Conclusions Speakers with agrammatic aphasia show incremental, word-by-word production for structurally simple sentences, requiring retrieval of multiple noun lemmas. However, when sentences involve functional (thematic to grammatical) structure building, advanced planning strategies (i.e., VAS encoding) are used. This early use of hierarchical syntactic information may provide a scaffold for impaired GE in agrammatism.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by School of Communication Graduate Research Ignition Grant from Northwestern University (J. Lee), NIH R01-DC01948 (C. K. Thompson), and NSF BCS-1323245 (M. Yoshida). The authors thank the individuals with aphasia for their participation.
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