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Publication Detail
Automated Analysis of Language Production in Aphasia and Right Hemisphere Damage: Frequency and Collocation Strength
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Article
  • Authors:
    Zimmerer VC, Newman L, Thomson R, Coleman M, Varley R
  • Publisher:
    Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date:
    27/07/2018
  • Journal:
    Aphasiology
  • Print ISSN:
    0268-7038
  • Keywords:
    aphasia, right hemisphere damage, automated language analysis, frequency, collocation strength
Abstract
Background: Reliance on formulaic language, i.e. holistically processed multiword chunks, is claimed to distinguish speakers with aphasia, speakers with right hemisphere damage and neurotypical controls. Frequency and collocation strength of word combinations are indicators of formulaic language. Methods and Procedures: We used computerized methods to investigate spontaneous language in 40 speakers: 10 with fluent aphasia, 10 with non-fluent aphasia, 10 with right-hemisphere damage and 10 neurotypical controls. Our analysis focused on frequency and collocation strength of grammatical combinations as markers of formulaic language (using the British National Corpus as reference), but also looked at word frequency, language fluency, proportion of content words, and measures of lexical and combinatorial diversity. Results: Both groups with aphasia differed from neurotypical speakers with regard to lexical features and word combinations. Their language was less fluent, less diverse at word level, and in the non-fluent group, contained a higher proportion of content words. Each aphasic group also differed from controls with increased values on at least one marker of formulaic language. Speakers with right hemisphere damage produced less frequent combinations which were more weakly collocated; however, these effects did not reach statistical significance. Conclusions: Our results show that formulaic language use distinguishes aphasic from other speakers, and that differences can be tracked with an automated, corpus-based script which uses frequency and collocation variables. We present our study in the context of usage-based frameworks of language.
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