Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Jessica D Richardson

Abstract

Discourse is a highly individualized and complex speech act essential for effective communication in daily life. Individuals with language disorders demonstrate impaired narrative ability and a resultant decline in functional communication (Webster, Franklin, & Howard, 2007). Discourse analysis is often time-consuming and impractical for everyday clinical use. Most informative discourse measures require specialized training to perform and are time-consuming. A clinically practical measurement is lacking. Standardized core lexicon and main concept lists for discourse tasks could allow clinicians to efficiently assess discourse skills and predict activity and participation limitations. This study presents the development and application of a core lexicon and main concept list for monologic narration of the Cinderella story (utilizing AphasiaBank). Analyses were conducted on the following groups: controls, anomic, Broca's, conduction, Wernicke's.

Results indicated that both analyses clearly separated individuals with aphasia from those with typical language abilities. Both analyses were able to distinguish some subtypes of aphasia, while unable to differentiate each subtype from one another. Importantly, core lexicon analysis correlated strongly with the more time intensive measure of main concept analysis for all groups. Results of this study lend support to the usefulness of further development and application of core lexicon and main concept analyses as efficient methods of determining narrative adequacy in PWAs.

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