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Semantic memory, Anomia, Discourse analysis, Qualitative studies


Background---Researchers have demonstrated that people with aphasia (PWA) have preserved semantic knowledge (Dell et al., 1997; Jefferies & Lambon Ralph, 2006). However, Antonucci (2014) demonstrated that some PWA have impaired access to certain types of knowledge more than others. Yet, all these studies used single concepts. It has not been demonstrated whether PWA have difficulty accessing certain types of features within a discourse sample.

Aims—The main goals of this study were to determine if semantic knowledge and two category types were used differently within discourse produced by participants with anomic aphasia and healthy controls.

Method & Procedures—Participants with anomic aphasia (n=19) and healthy controls (n=19) told stories that were transcribed and coded for 10 types of semantic knowledge and two category types, living and nonliving things.

Outcomes & Results—A Poisson regression model was conducted. The results indicated a significant difference between the groups for the semantic knowledge types, sound and internal state, but no difference was found for category types. Yet the distribution of semantic knowledge and category types produced within the discourse samples were similar between the groups.

Conclusion—PWA might have differential access to certain types of semantic knowledge within discourse production, but it does not rise to the level of categorical deficits. These findings extend single-concept research into the realm of discourse


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Aphasiology. Published online 26 Aug 2015.

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