PublisherThe University of Arizona.
AbstractThis study investigated whether people with aphasia (PWA) retain verb transitivity biases in expressive language. Transitivity, which represents a rudimentary division among simple sentence structures, is a fundamental language feature for our characterization of people with aphasia's (PWA) basic grammatical profile. However, no studies have yet detailed PWA's transitivity biases, given limited sample sizes of PWA (which especially restrict analyses of spontaneous speech). The current study analyzed 236 transcribed interviews of PWA from AphasiaBank and found that that PWA demonstrated identical transitive biases to controls. Further, PWA produced more intransitive verbs than transitive verbs overall. In ungrammatical productions, PWA's error rates were both higher in sentence structures that conflicted with verb bias and highest when an intransitive verb was attempted in a transitive structure. Thus, these findings indicate that PWA are sensitive to verb bias and verb complexity within expressive language. These effects are consistent with previous literature concerning PWA's sensitivity to verb bias in receptive tasks and to verb complexity in verb retrieval tasks.