A Comparison of Coverbal Gesture Use in Oral Discourse Among Speakers With Fluent and Nonfluent Aphasia Purpose Coverbal gesture use, which is affected by the presence and degree of aphasia, can be culturally specific. The purpose of this study was to compare gesture use among Cantonese-speaking individuals: 23 neurologically healthy speakers, 23 speakers with fluent aphasia, and 21 speakers with nonfluent aphasia. Method Multimedia ... Research Article
Research Article  |   July 12, 2017
A Comparison of Coverbal Gesture Use in Oral Discourse Among Speakers With Fluent and Nonfluent Aphasia
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Anthony Pak-Hin Kong
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Central Florida, Orlando
  • Sam-Po Law
    Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Hong Kong
  • Gigi Wan-Chi Chak
    Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Hong Kong
  • 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 Anthony Pak-Hin Kong: antkong@ucf.edu
  • Editor: Sean Redmond
    Editor: Sean Redmond×
  • Associate Editor: Michael Dickey
    Associate Editor: Michael Dickey×
Article Information
Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Aphasia / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   July 12, 2017
A Comparison of Coverbal Gesture Use in Oral Discourse Among Speakers With Fluent and Nonfluent Aphasia
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, July 2017, Vol. 60, 2031-2046. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-16-0093
History: Received March 8, 2016 , Revised August 4, 2016 , Accepted January 16, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, July 2017, Vol. 60, 2031-2046. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-16-0093
History: Received March 8, 2016; Revised August 4, 2016; Accepted January 16, 2017

Purpose Coverbal gesture use, which is affected by the presence and degree of aphasia, can be culturally specific. The purpose of this study was to compare gesture use among Cantonese-speaking individuals: 23 neurologically healthy speakers, 23 speakers with fluent aphasia, and 21 speakers with nonfluent aphasia.

Method Multimedia data of discourse samples from these speakers were extracted from the Cantonese AphasiaBank. Gestures were independently annotated on their forms and functions to determine how gesturing rate and distribution of gestures differed across speaker groups. A multiple regression was conducted to determine the most predictive variable(s) for gesture-to-word ratio.

Results Although speakers with nonfluent aphasia gestured most frequently, the rate of gesture use in counterparts with fluent aphasia did not differ significantly from controls. Different patterns of gesture functions in the 3 speaker groups revealed that gesture plays a minor role in lexical retrieval whereas its role in enhancing communication dominates among the speakers with aphasia. The percentages of complete sentences and dysfluency strongly predicted the gesturing rate in aphasia.

Conclusions The current results supported the sketch model of language–gesture association. The relationship between gesture production and linguistic abilities and clinical implications for gesture-based language intervention for speakers with aphasia are also discussed.

Acknowledgments
This study is supported by a grant funded by the National Institutes of Health Grant NIH-R01-DC010398 to Anthony Pak-Hin Kong (PI) and Sam-Po Law (Co-I). Special thanks to the staff members in the following organizations (in alphabetical order) for their help in subject recruitment: Christian Family Service Center (Kwun Tong Community Rehabilitation Day Center), Community Rehabilitation Network of The Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation, Internal Aphasia Clinic at the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Stroke Association, Lee Quo Wei Day Rehabilitation and Care Centre of The Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation, and Self Help Group for the Brain Damaged. The authors would also like to acknowledge the invaluable contribution of the people living with aphasia who participated in this study.
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