Original Research

What can speech production errors tell us about cross-linguistic processing in bilingual aphasia? Evidence from four English/Afrikaans bilingual individuals with aphasia

Diane Kendall, Lisa Edmonds, Anine Van Zyl, Inge Odendaal, Molly Stein, Anita van der Merwe
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 62, No 1 | a111 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v62i1.111 | © 2015 Diane Kendall, Lisa Edmonds, Anine Van Zyl, Inge Odendaal, Molly Stein, Anita van der Merwe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 November 2014 | Published: 26 June 2015

About the author(s)

Diane Kendall, VA RR & D Puget Sound DVA Medical Center, Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Washington, United States of America; Fulbright, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Lisa Edmonds, Department of Biobehavioral Sciences, Speech Language Pathology, Teachers College, Columbia University, United States of America
Anine Van Zyl, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Inge Odendaal, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Molly Stein, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Anita van der Merwe, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Introduction: The aim of this study is contribute to clinical practice of bilinguals around the globe, as well as to add to our understanding of bilingual aphasia processing, by analysing confrontation naming data from four Afrikaans/English bilingual individuals with acquired aphasia due to a left hemisphere stroke.

Methods: This is a case series analysis of four Afrikaans/English bilingual aphasic individuals following a left cerebrovascular accident. Error analysis of confrontation naming data in both languages was performed. Research questions were directed toward the between language differences in lexical retrieval abilities, types of errors produced and degree of cognate overlap.

Results: Three of the four participants showed significantly higher naming accuracy in first acquired language (L1) relative to the second acquired language (L2) and the largest proportion of error type for those three participants in both L1 and L2 was omission. One of the four participants (linguistically balanced) showed no between language accuracy difference. Regarding cognate overlap, there was a trend for higher accuracy for higher cognate words (compared to low).

Discussion: This study showed that naming performance in these four individuals was reflective of their relative language proficiency and use patterns prior to their stroke. These findings are consistent with the hierarchical model, in normal bilingual speakers and with persons with bilingual aphasia.


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