Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 February 2022
In multilingual people, semantic knowledge is predominantly shared across languages. Providing semantic-focused treatment to people with aphasia has been posited to strengthen connectivity within association cortices that subserve semantic knowledge. In multilingual people, such treatment should result in within- and cross-language generalisation to all languages, although not equally. We investigated treatment effects in two multilingual participants with aphasia who received verb-based semantic treatment in two pre-stroke highly proficient languages. We compared within- and cross-language generalisation patterns across languages, finding within- and cross-language generalisation after treatment in the less-impaired, pre-morbidly more-proficient first-acquired language (L1). This observation supports the theory that connectivity is greater between the lexicon of a pre-morbidly more-proficient L1 and the shared semantic system than the lexicon of a pre-morbidly less-proficient later-acquired language. Our findings of within- and cross-language generalisation patterns could also be explained by both the Competing Mechanisms Theory and the theory of lingering suppression.