Lexical and Grammatical Factors in Sentence Production in Semantic Dementia: Insights From Greek Purpose Language production in semantic dementia (SD) is characterized by a lexical–semantic deficit and largely preserved argument structure and inflection production. This study investigates (a) the effect of argument structure on verb retrieval and (b) the interrelation between inflection marking and verb retrieval in SD. Method Seven individuals ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 17, 2018
Lexical and Grammatical Factors in Sentence Production in Semantic Dementia: Insights From Greek
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Vasiliki Koukoulioti
    Department of Linguistics, School of Philology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
    Institut für Linguistik, Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • Stavroula Stavrakaki
    Department of Italian Language and Linguistics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Eleni Konstantinopoulou
    2nd Department of Neurology, AHEPA University Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Panagiotis Ioannidis
    2nd Department of Neurology, AHEPA University Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • 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 Vasiliki Koukoulioti: vasiliki.koukoulioti@gmail.com
    Correspondence to Vasiliki Koukoulioti: vasiliki.koukoulioti@gmail.com ×
  • Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond
    Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond×
  • Editor: Swathi Kiran
    Editor: Swathi Kiran×
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Older Adults & Aging / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 17, 2018
Lexical and Grammatical Factors in Sentence Production in Semantic Dementia: Insights From Greek
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2018, Vol. 61, 870-886. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-17-0024
History: Received January 18, 2017 , Revised May 21, 2017 , Accepted December 5, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2018, Vol. 61, 870-886. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-17-0024
History: Received January 18, 2017; Revised May 21, 2017; Accepted December 5, 2017

Purpose Language production in semantic dementia (SD) is characterized by a lexical–semantic deficit and largely preserved argument structure and inflection production. This study investigates (a) the effect of argument structure on verb retrieval and (b) the interrelation between inflection marking and verb retrieval in SD.

Method Seven individuals with SD and 7 healthy controls performed 2 sentence elicitation tasks. In Experiment 1, participants described the action taking place in a video. In Experiment 2, they watched the same videos preceded by a phrase prompting the production of past tense. Three verb classes were tested: (a) unergative (e.g., to walk), (b) unaccusative (e.g., to fall), and (c) transitive with 1 object (e.g., to read a book).

Results There was not any quantitative difference among the verb classes in Experiment 1, but error analysis hinted at difficulties related with argument structure complexity. The findings of Experiment 2 suggest no general effect of inflection on verb retrieval; nevertheless, inflection marking impeded the retrieval of verbs with complex argument structure. Large individual variation was established.

Conclusions Argument structure complexity may challenge speakers with SD. Verb retrieval and inflection marking seem to interrelate at the expense of the former. Inflection production may be affected at severe stages of the disease.

Supplemental Material https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.6030779

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by the I. K. Y. (Greek State Scholarship Foundation) with a grant to the first author for doctoral research. We also thank warmly the participants with SD and their families as well as the control participants for participating in the study.
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