Online Sentence Reading in People With Aphasia: Evidence From Eye Tracking Purpose There is a lot of evidence that people with aphasia have more difficulty understanding structurally complex sentences (e.g., object clefts) than simpler sentences (subject clefts). However, subject clefts also occur more frequently in English than object clefts. Thus, it is possible that both structural complexity and frequency affect how ... Supplement Article
Supplement Article  |   November 01, 2015
Online Sentence Reading in People With Aphasia: Evidence From Eye Tracking
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jessica Knilans
    University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Gayle DeDe
    University of Arizona, Tucson
  • 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 Gayle DeDe, who is now at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA: gayle.dede@temple.edu
  • Editor: Anastasia Raymer
    Editor: Anastasia Raymer×
  • Associate Editor: Michael Dickey
    Associate Editor: Michael Dickey×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Aphasia / Supplement: Select Papers From the 44th Clinical Aphasiology Conference
Supplement Article   |   November 01, 2015
Online Sentence Reading in People With Aphasia: Evidence From Eye Tracking
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2015, Vol. 24, S961-S973. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-14-0140
History: Received September 13, 2014 , Revised February 26, 2015 , Accepted June 8, 2015
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2015, Vol. 24, S961-S973. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-14-0140
History: Received September 13, 2014; Revised February 26, 2015; Accepted June 8, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

Purpose There is a lot of evidence that people with aphasia have more difficulty understanding structurally complex sentences (e.g., object clefts) than simpler sentences (subject clefts). However, subject clefts also occur more frequently in English than object clefts. Thus, it is possible that both structural complexity and frequency affect how people with aphasia understand these structures.

Method Nine people with aphasia and 8 age-matched controls participated in the study. The stimuli consisted of 24 object cleft and 24 subject cleft sentences. The task was eye tracking during reading, which permits a more fine-grained analysis of reading performance than measures such as self-paced reading.

Results As expected, controls had longer reading times for critical regions in object cleft sentences compared with subject cleft sentences. People with aphasia showed the predicted effects of structural frequency. Effects of structural complexity in people with aphasia did not emerge on their first pass through the sentence but were observed when they were rereading critical regions of complex sentences.

Conclusions People with aphasia are sensitive to both structural complexity and structural frequency when reading. However, people with aphasia may use different reading strategies than controls when confronted with relatively infrequent and complex sentence structures.

Acknowledgments
This study was funded in part by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant DC010808 to Gayle DeDe. This work was conducted in partial fulfillment of the first author's master's degree at the University of Arizona. The authors thank all of the participants who made this work possible, particularly the people with aphasia. We are grateful to Cynthia Thompson, Keith Rayner, Janet Nicol, and Pélagie Beeson for their helpful comments at previous stages of this work. Any remaining errors are our own. We also thank the members of the Speech, Language, and Brain Lab who helped with data collection, particularly Rachel Alter and Samantha Deitering.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access