Authors: Marshall J, Chiat S, Pring T
Title: An impairment in processing verbs’ thematic roles: A therapy study
Source: Aphasiology 1997 11(9): 855-876
Year: 1997
Research Design: Single Case Design

This paper describes a subject with a selective verb disorder after a cerebrovascular accident. Verb retrieval was impaired both in spontaneous speech and naming. When verbs were accessed a striking dissociation emerged. Subcategorization was surprisingly intact, while the assignment of verbs' thematic roles was poor. Verb comprehension was also impaired, particularly when tasks demanded an appreciation of thematic information. A remediation programme was administered which aimed to improve insight into the role structures and mapping requirements of 3 argument verbs. The S showed gains in the production of this type of verb, which generalized to untreated items. However, there was no generalization to verbs of a different type. Progress was also suggested by a 2nd evaluative procedure, in which Os judged the intelligibility of the S's output, before and after therapy. The theoretical implications of the findings are discussed.

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