Noun and verb processing in Greek–English bilingual individuals with anomic aphasia and the effect of instrumentality and verb–noun name relation

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Abstract

Noun and verb comprehension and production was investigated in two groups of late bilingual, Greek–English speakers: individuals with anomic aphasia and a control group of non-brain injured individuals matched for age and gender. There were no significant differences in verb or noun comprehension between the two groups in either language. However, verb and noun production during picture naming was significantly worse in the bilingual individuals with anomic aphasia in both languages, who also showed a specific verb impairment in Greek and English. The potential underlying level of breakdown of the specific verb impairment was further investigation with reference to two specific features of verbs: instrumentality and verb–noun relationship. Additional results revealed a facilitatory effect of Instrumentality in both languages. However, there was no effect of verb–noun name relation in Greek, and a negative effect of verb–noun name relation was observed in English. Lemma retrieval seemed to be intact in this group of bilingual individuals whose main problem seemed to arise during the retrieval of the phonological representation of the target word. This impairment was greater in English. The findings are discussed in terms of three current models of word production.

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