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ERIC Number: EJ1067961
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jun
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
The Auditory Comprehension of "Wh"-Questions in Aphasia: Support for the Intervener Hypothesis
Sheppard, Shannon M.; Walenski, Matthew; Love, Tracy; Shapiro, Lewis P.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v58 n3 p781-797 Jun 2015
Purpose: This study examines 3 hypotheses about the processing of "wh"-questions in both neurologically healthy adults and adults with Broca's aphasia. Method: We used an eye tracking while listening method with 32 unimpaired participants (Experiment 1) and 8 participants with Broca's aphasia (Experiment 2). Accuracy, response time, and online gaze data were collected. Results: In Experiment 1, we established a baseline for how unimpaired processing and comprehension of 4 types of "wh"-question (subject- and object-extracted "who"- and "which"-questions) manifest. There was no unambiguous support found for any of the 3 hypotheses in Experiment 1. In Experiment 2 with the Broca's participants, however, we found significantly lower accuracy, slower response times, and increased interference in our gaze data in the object-extracted "which"-questions relative to the other conditions. Conclusions: Our results provide support for the intervener hypothesis, which states that sentence constructions that contain an intervener (a lexical noun phrase) between a displaced noun phrase and its gap site result in a significant processing disadvantage relative to other constructions. We argue that this hypothesis offers a compelling explanation for the comprehension deficits seen in some participants with Broca's aphasia.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. Tel: 800-638-8255; Fax: 301-571-0457; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: R01DC009272; R01DC000494; T32DC007361