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Frances Blanchette, Chaleece Sandberg (Penn State), & Cynthia Lukyanenko (George Mason) – Acceptability and Comprehension of a Vernacular Feature in Aphasia
March 19, 2021
9:00 am
ZOOM Virtual Room (Link will be provided)

Frances Blanchette, Chaleece Sandberg (Penn State), & Cynthia Lukyanenko (George Mason) – Acceptability and Comprehension of a Vernacular Feature in Aphasia

Acceptability and Comprehension of a Vernacular Feature in Aphasia

Insights from linguistic variation research illustrate a linguistically diverse population, in which even speakers who can be classified as speaking a “mainstream” variety have grammatical knowledge of vernacular or “non-mainstream” features. Persons with aphasia are no exception, yet current aphasia research protocols, assessments, and treatments focus primarily on mainstream linguistic features. This talk presents the results of a pilot study exploring how persons with aphasia respond to linguistic stimuli that include the widely used vernacular feature Negative Concord, wherein two or more syntactic negations in a sentence contribute a single negative meaning (e.g., I didn’t do nothing, equivalent to I didn’t do anything). The overall results show sensitivity to both social and linguistic information at levels similar to neurologically intact speakers. Exploration of individual difference measures of aphasia severity and vernacular status provide insight into how these variables impact ratings of acceptability and meaning. We further discuss possibilities for exploring the validity of traditional measures of aphasia severity when assessing speakers who may use more vernacular features.