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Tense production in nonfluent aphasia (Park et al., 2024)

posted on 2024-02-07, 16:47 authored by Hyejin Park, Jessica Obermeyer, Eun Jin Paek, Madeline Zurbrugg

Purpose: Verb tense production is known to be impaired in people with nonfluent aphasia. Selective past tense impairment in this population has been reported, but results are inconsistent and lacking at the discourse level. In addition, language production can be affected by discourse elicitation tasks depending on the cognitive linguistic demands and instructions unique to each task. There is limited evidence regarding whether verb tense production in people with nonfluent aphasia is impacted by discourse task demands. Understanding this potential impact is important for clinicians and researchers who are interested in assessing and then identifying effective clinical goals for this population. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the trends of verb tense production across various discourse elicitation tasks in people with nonfluent aphasia compared to people without aphasia.

Method: Language samples for 23 people with nonfluent aphasia and 27 people without aphasia were obtained for six discourse tasks from the AphasiaBank database. We calculated ratios of past tense, present tense, future tense, imperative, and unknown verb types to compare which tense was used most frequently within and across the tasks and groups.

Results and Conclusions: Our findings revealed evidence of verb tense production deficits and a selective past tense impairment in people with nonfluent aphasia. Discourse task effects were shown for people without aphasia but were scarce in people with nonfluent aphasia. This finding could be explained by an overall reduction of verb production and overreliance on present tense production in nonfluent aphasia. These results suggest the potential methodological implications of using different discourse tasks to evaluate verb tense production in people with nonfluent aphasia. Future studies need to evaluate discourse task effects on other aspects of verb production (e.g., moods) and specific task factors (e.g., presence or absence of visual stimulus).

Supplemental Material S1. Fixed effect parameters of each ratio.

Supplemental Material S2. Random effect parameters of each ratio.

Park, H., Obermeyer, J., Paek, E. J., & Zurbrugg, M. (2024). Verb tense production in people with nonfluent aphasia across different discourse elicitation tasks. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 33(3), 1301–1316.