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Regular version of the site

Article

The effects of instrumentality and name relation on action naming in Russian speakers with aphasia

Aphasiology. 2014. Vol. 28. No. 10. P. 1178-1197.

Background: A verb’s instrumentality and name relation to an associated instrument noun are among the factors influencing verb retrieval in speakers with aphasia. Previous data on the effects of these factors are equivocal, possibly due to language- and taskspecific factors. Aims: The present study aimed to investigate the nature of the instrumentality and verbnoun name relation effects by retesting them in a large sample of Russian-speaking individuals with fluent and non-fluent aphasia. Methods & Procedures: Forty Russian-speaking individuals with aphasia (twenty with fluent and twenty with non-fluent aphasia) and twenty controls performed an action naming task. Overall accuracy scores and qualitative error types were analysed. Outcomes & Results: A positive effect of instrumentality was found in both groups of individuals with aphasia. A negative effect of verb-noun name relation was found in non-fluent aphasia and was larger for verbs with a smaller overlap with the instrument noun. In both aphasia groups, semantically related errors were more numerous for noninstrumental than instrumental verbs, whereas phonological errors were more numerous for name-related than non-name-related instrumental verbs. Conclusions: The positive effect of instrumentality on verb retrieval may be attributed to a facilitatory effect of richer conceptual representations of instrumental verbs. The negative effect of name relation on verb retrieval may be explained by interference of the phonological form of the instrument noun. These factors influence verb retrieval in aphasia and should be taken into account when developing testing/treatment materials and stimuli for experimental studies.