Authors: Faroqi-Shah Y
Title: Selective treatment of regular versus irregular verbs in agrammatic aphasia: Efficacy data
Source: Aphasiology 2013 27(6): 678-705
Year: 2013
Research Design: Single Case Design

Background: Production of verb morphology, especially tense marking, is frequently impaired in persons with agrammatic aphasia. Very little research has examined theoretically driven treatments for verb morphology deficits in aphasia. Aims: This study examined the relative efficacy of using regular (wash-washed, rob-robbed) versus irregular (drink-drank, keep-kept) verbs as stimuli to treat morphological impairments in individuals with aphasia. This comparison was motivated by differences in the lexical organisation of regular and irregular verbs proposed in psycholinguistic theory. Methods & Procedures: A single-participant multiple-baseline design was used to examine treatment outcomes in six individuals with agrammatic aphasia. Participants received training to produce tense morphology using only either regular or irregular verbs, and the crucial outcome measure was generalisation to untrained past tense forms (regular to irregular and vice versa). Outcomes & Results: All participants improved in the trained tenses and generalised to the production of regular tense morphology on untrained verbs. Generalisation to untrained irregular past tense was relatively modest, irrespective of whether regular or irregular verbs were trained. Conclusions: The results replicate previous findings that verb morphology deficits respond to intervention, and extend the findings by suggesting that choice of stimuli may have consequences for generalisation effects. The implication for aphasia rehabilitation is that tense training using irregularly inflected verbs generalises to a greater variety of untrained verb inflections (including regular past) than does the use of regular verbs.

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