Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Supervisor

JB Orange

Abstract

Verb-specific impairments in their use and comprehension are well documented in persons with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The grammatical and the motor theories have been proposed as possible explanations for verb impairments. The purpose of this study is to describe the use of low-motion and high-motion content verbs in PD in everyday conversation and to determine which theory best supports these findings. In this cross-sectional prospective study, conversation samples were collected and analyzed from participants with PD and their spouses in a mealtime context. Results indicated that total verb use on a proportional basis was not significantly different between persons with PD vs. control participants. Participants with PD produced significantly fewer high-motion verbs compared to low-motion content verbs. However, control participants also produced significantly fewer high-motion verbs compared to low-motion content verbs. The findings do not support the motor theory or the grammatical theory of verb processing in participants with PD.


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