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Strengthening the semantic verb network in multilingual people with aphasia: within- and cross-language treatment effects*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 February 2022

Aviva Lerman*
Affiliation:
Program in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, NY, USA Program of Communication Disorders, Hadassah Academic College, Jerusalem, Israel
Mira Goral
Affiliation:
Program in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, NY, USA Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, Lehman College, City University of New York, Bronx, NY, USA MultiLing Center for Multilingualism in Society across the Lifespan, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Lisa A. Edmonds
Affiliation:
Program of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
Loraine K. Obler
Affiliation:
Program in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, NY, USA
*
Address for correspondence: Aviva Lerman, Program in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, 365 Fifth Ave, New York City, New York E-mail: alerman@gradcenter.cuny.edu

Abstract

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.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press

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