Verbal Description of Concrete Objects: A Method for Assessing Semantic Circumlocution in Persons With Aphasia Purpose We investigated from a theoretically motivated perspective what information differentiated sufficient from insufficient descriptions of objects provided by persons with aphasia. Method Twenty-one adults with aphasia consequent to single left-hemisphere stroke verbally described 9 living and 9 nonliving objects. Responses were scored for accuracy (i.e., sufficiency) and ... Supplement Article
Supplement Article  |   November 01, 2015
Verbal Description of Concrete Objects: A Method for Assessing Semantic Circumlocution in Persons With Aphasia
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sharon M. Antonucci
    Worcester State University, MA
  • Colleen MacWilliam
    Worcester State University, MA
  • 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 Sharon M. Antonucci: santonucci@worcester.edu
  • Editor: Anastasia Raymer
    Editor: Anastasia Raymer×
  • Associate Editor: Amy Rodriguez
    Associate Editor: Amy Rodriguez×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Aphasia / Supplement: Select Papers From the 44th Clinical Aphasiology Conference
Supplement Article   |   November 01, 2015
Verbal Description of Concrete Objects: A Method for Assessing Semantic Circumlocution in Persons With Aphasia
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2015, Vol. 24, S828-S837. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-14-0154
History: Received September 15, 2014 , Revised February 21, 2015 , Accepted April 6, 2015
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2015, Vol. 24, S828-S837. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-14-0154
History: Received September 15, 2014; Revised February 21, 2015; Accepted April 6, 2015

Purpose We investigated from a theoretically motivated perspective what information differentiated sufficient from insufficient descriptions of objects provided by persons with aphasia.

Method Twenty-one adults with aphasia consequent to single left-hemisphere stroke verbally described 9 living and 9 nonliving objects. Responses were scored for accuracy (i.e., sufficiency) and tallied for type and quantity of semantic feature information provided. Main effects and interactions were identified using repeated measures analyses of variance, with significant findings followed up with planned comparisons.

Results Differences between correct and incorrect descriptions were identified with respect to both feature type and feature distinctiveness for living and nonliving items, in particular highlighting the importance of distinctive features in descriptions of both domains.

Conclusions These findings add to the relatively small body of literature investigating semantic feature processing in adults with aphasia. This is a critical gap to close when considered in light of the preponderance of semantically based treatments for word-retrieval impairment in stroke-aphasia. Our findings provide preliminary support for the notion that semantically guided treatments for word-retrieval impairment in stroke-aphasia may be geared toward increasing specificity of semantic circumlocution to increase semantic self-cueing and to improve communication of information to conversation partners.

Acknowledgments
Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R03DC010262 and by a Worcester State University Faculty Mini-Grant, both awarded to Sharon M. Antonucci. Portions of this work were presented at the 2012 annual meeting of the Academy of Aphasia and the 2014 Clinical Aphasiology Conference. Colleen MacWilliam also presented portions of this work at student conferences, the 2014 Worcester State University Celebration of Scholarship and Creativity and the 2014 Commonwealth Honors Undergraduate Research Conference. The authors thank Carolyn Falconer, Diana Sychtysz, and Jocelyn Hurst for assistance with this project.
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