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Comprehension of psychological predicates in Alzheimer’s disease

Vanja Kljajevic ; ¹Ikerbasque, Basque Foundation for Science, Bilbao, Spain
Johanne Hatteland Somme ; University Hospital Alava, Vitoria, Spain
Rosa Prieto Tedejo ; University Hospital Alava, Vitoria, Spain
Garazi Laseca ; Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 406 Kb

str. 49-69

preuzimanja: 448



Patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) show a defi cit in processing sentences with psychological
verbs. Evidence from English suggests that their comprehension of object Experiencers is more
impaired relative to subject Experiencers. Since Spanish is structurally diff erent from English, in
the present study we wanted to determine whether Spanish–speaking AD patients would show a
diff erent comprehension pattern. We tested comprehension of semantically irreversible sentences
involving psych verbs with subject Experiencers, and accusative– and dative–marked object Experiencers in 10 native speakers of Spanish diagnosed with mild to moderate AD. We also tested their
comprehension of semantically reversible sentences involving dative object Experiencers in two
word orders (SVO, OVS). A paired–samples t–test revealed no statistically signifi cant diff erences
in their comprehension of subject vs. object Experiencers, or accusative vs. dative object Experiencers in semantically irreversible sentences, with one–sample t–test indicating comprehension above
chance. However, their overall comprehension of psych verbs in semantically reversible sentences
was poor, regardless of word order, and it was signifi cantly worse than their comprehension of sentences with action verbs in the same word orders. Th us, our data indicate that the defi cit in comprehension of psych verbs found in Spanish speakers with mild to moderate AD dementia diff ers from
the pattern found in English, and that the defi cit in AD patients’ comprehension of psych verbs is
more heterogeneous than previously thought.

Ključne riječi

psych verbs; sentence processing; Alzheimer’s disease; Spanish language

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