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Spoken Discourse Characteristics of Bengali Speakers with Alzheimer's Disease: a Comparison of Picture Description and Story Narrative Tasks

EasyChair Preprint no. 6495

3 pagesDate: August 31, 2021


Spoken discourse deficits have been documented in persons with Alzheimer's Disease (AD, Duong et al., 2003); most studies are from English-speaking participants (Slegers et al., 2018). Consequently, our understanding of discourse impairments in languages other than English remains limited. Bengali is the seventh most spoken language in the world, yet, to date, no studies have investigated discourse characteristics of Bengali individuals with AD. This study aimed to identify differences in spoken discourse performances elicited using two discourse tasks in Bengali AD and healthy controls (HC). Six individuals with AD and six age-education-and gender-matched HC described the WAB picture scene and retold the Frog story. Language samples were analyzed in terms of productivity, lexical, semantic, and morphosyntactic aspects using the Quantitative Production Analysis and Correct Information Unit (CIU) analyses. Similar to Sajjadi et al. (2012), individuals with AD showed reduced productivity, simplified syntactic complexity, and impoverished semantic content in their Frog stories. In contrast to Fraser et al. (2015) who documented overuse of pronouns and inflectional errors in AD, the Bengali individuals with AD demonstrated a smaller proportion of pronouns than HC and no noun or verb inflectional impairments. Picture description differences were observed for the proportion of well-formed sentences and CIU measures. Semantics was the most common domain of impairment in both tasks. This study revealed similarities between spoken discourse productions of Bengali AD participants with the English patients but also demonstrated language-specific differences. Narrative tasks are more sensitive in revealing linguistic differences between AD and HC at different linguistic levels. Thus, relying solely on picture description tasks may not be sufficient for assessing discourse of individuals who speak languages that are structurally different than English.

Keyphrases: Alzheimer's disease, Bengali, spoken discourse

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Manaswita Dutta and Arpita Bose and Niladri Sekhar Dash and Aparna Dutt and Ranita Nandi},
  title = {Spoken Discourse Characteristics of Bengali Speakers with Alzheimer's Disease: a Comparison of Picture Description and Story Narrative Tasks},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 6495},

  year = {EasyChair, 2021}}
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