A cognitive and psycholinguistic investigation of neologisms
Bose, A. and Buchanan, L. (2007) A cognitive and psycholinguistic investigation of neologisms. Aphasiology, 21 (6-8). pp. 726-738. ISSN 1464-5041
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/02687030701192315
Background: Jargon aphasia with neologisms (i.e., novel nonword utterances) is a challenging language disorder that lacks a definitive theoretical description as well as clear treatment recommendations (Marshall, 2006). Aim: The aims of this two part investigation were to determine the source of neologisms in an individual with jargon aphasia (FF), to identify potential facilitatory semantic and/or phonological cuing effects in picture naming, and to determine whether the timing of the cues relative to the target picture mediated the cuing advantage. Methods and Procedures: FF’s underlying linguistic deficits were determined using several cognitive and linguistic tests. A series of computerized naming experiments using a modified version of the 175 item-Philadelphia Naming Test (Roach, Schwartz, Martin, Grewal, & Brecher, 1996) manipulated the cue type (semantic versus phonological) and relatedness (related versus unrelated). In a follow-up experiment, the relative timing of phonological cues was manipulated to test the effect of timing on the cuing advantage. The accuracy of naming responses and error patterns were analyzed. Outcome and Results: FF’s performance on the linguistic and cognitive test battery revealed a severe naming impairment with relatively spared word and nonword repetition, auditory comprehension of words and monitoring, and fairly well preserved semantic abilities. This performance profile was used to evaluate various explanations for neologisms including a loss of phonological codes, monitoring failure, and impairments in semantic system. The primary locus of his deficit appears to involve the connection between semantics to phonology, specifically, when word production involves accessing the phonological forms following semantic access. FF showed a significant cuing advantage only for phonological cues in picture naming, particularly when the cue preceded or coincided with the onset of the target picture. Conclusions: When integrated with previous findings, the results from this study suggest that the core deficit of this and at least some other jargon aphasics is in the connection from semantics to phonology. The facilitative advantage of phonological cues could potentially be exploited in future clinical and research studies to test the effectiveness of these cues for enhancing naming performance in individuals like FF.