Formulaic language in Alzheimer's disease

Kelly Ann Bridges, Diana Van Lancker Sidtis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Studies of productive language in Alzheimer's disease (AD) have focused on formal testing of syntax and semantics but have directed less attention to naturalistic discourse and formulaic language. Clinical observations suggest that individuals with AD retain the ability to produce formulaic language long after other cognitive abilities have deteriorated. Aims: This study quantifies production of formulaic expressions in the spontaneous speech of individuals with AD. Persons with early and late onset forms of the disease were compared. Methods & Procedures: Conversational language samples of individuals with early (n = 5) and late onset (n = 6) AD and healthy controls (n = 5) were analysed to determine whether formulaic language, as measured by the number of words in formulaic expressions, differs between groups. Outcomes & Results: Results indicate that individuals with AD, regardless of age of onset, used significantly more formulaic expressions than healthy controls. The early and late onset AD groups did not differ on formulaic language measures. Conclusions: These findings contribute to a dual process model of cerebral function, which proposes differing processing principles for formulaic and novel expressions. In this model, subcortical areas, which remain intact into late in the progression of Alzheimer's disease, play an important role in the production of formulaic language. Applications to clinical practice include identifying preserved formulaic language and providing informed counselling to patient and family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)799-810
Number of pages12
JournalAphasiology
Volume27
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2013

Fingerprint

dementia
Alzheimer Disease
Language
language
Aptitude
Alzheimer's Disease
Formulaic Language
cognitive ability
Age of Onset
Semantics
syntax
Counseling
counseling
Group
semantics
Disease
Onset
human being
discourse
ability

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Dual-process model
  • Formulaic language

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • LPN and LVN
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Bridges, K. A., & Van Lancker Sidtis, D. (2013). Formulaic language in Alzheimer's disease. Aphasiology, 27(7), 799-810. https://doi.org/10.1080/02687038.2012.757760

Formulaic language in Alzheimer's disease. / Bridges, Kelly Ann; Van Lancker Sidtis, Diana.

In: Aphasiology, Vol. 27, No. 7, 07.2013, p. 799-810.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bridges, KA & Van Lancker Sidtis, D 2013, 'Formulaic language in Alzheimer's disease', Aphasiology, vol. 27, no. 7, pp. 799-810. https://doi.org/10.1080/02687038.2012.757760
Bridges, Kelly Ann ; Van Lancker Sidtis, Diana. / Formulaic language in Alzheimer's disease. In: Aphasiology. 2013 ; Vol. 27, No. 7. pp. 799-810.
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