Neural basis for discourse production: narrative violations in patients with brain leisons
The project objective is to create an annotated corpus of Russian CliPS (Clinical Pear Stories) of Russian-speaking patients narratives: patients with left hemisphere impairments and associated aphasic disorder, patients with right hemisphere impairments (without aphasia) and healthy subjects. This project is the first and only massive study of aphasic discourse in Russian. During stimuli design, data collection and analysis we used the vast linguistics experience of text analysis, present-day theories and methods of discursive analysis. Hence the results of the study are a fundamental new step in discourse studies in normal and pathological conditions. Besides, detailed analysis of the patients’ stories would provide a unique opportunity to examine discourse specifics in different types of aphasia.
To provide narratives, patients watched a short film (“The Story of Pears” – hence the title of the project), created by linguists specifically for this study, and then retold film's contents to a researcher. 45 patients and 22 healthy individuals told the story: the group of patients included 40 aphasic patients (including 10 cases of efferent aphasia, 10 – of dynamic aphasia, 10 – of acoustic-mnestic aphasia and 10 – of sensor aphasia) and 5 people with right-hemisphere lesions.
A distinctive feature of the corpus is the application of ELAN software to the annotation process (the software was developed at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics for multimedia corpora analysis). Application of clear and accurate criteria to aphasic discourse tagging ensured the further analysis of different discourse features based on the corpus. For the quantitative analysis of these features the following parameters were measured: means length of elemental discourse units (EDUs) and utterances; percentages of absolute and filled pauses and their total length in a text; grammatical completeness of a clause (presence or omission of a predicate); amount of false starts.
The results based on this data circumscribed aphasic discourse features on micro- and macro discourse levels with regard to between-group comparisons – versus normative discourse strategies provided by healthy individuals. For example, the study suggests that the latter tend to switch between present and past narrative tense for the pragmatic accentuation of the new scene or the culmination of the current episode – while patients usually do not use present narrative tense and, in addition, use the laugh as discomfort/dissatisfaction marker. Both groups committed discursive-pragmatic and lexical-semantic errors in case of speech arrests. Intergroup comparison of fluent vs. non-fluent aphasia provided insight that patients with non-fluent types of aphasia are capable of transmitting sequence of the events as well as the casual relationships between them – but narrators with fluent aphasia in general omitted explicit motivations for certain events (which is especially evident in narrative final, where interpretation of the main character’s behavior is necessary).
Toldova S., Bergelson M., Khudyakova M. Coreference in Russian Oral Movie Retellings (the Experience of Coreference Relations Annotation in “Russian CliPS ” corpus), in: Компьютерная лингвистика и интеллектуальные технологии. По материалам ежегодной Международной конференции "Диалог" (2016) / Под общ. ред.: В. Селегей. М. : Изд-во РГГУ, 2016. P. 755-767.
Bergelson M., Akinina Y., Khudyakova M., Iskra E., Dragoy O. Pear Stories by Russian speakers with aphasia, in: CEUR Workshop Proceedings. Vol-1419. Proceedings of the EuroAsianPacific Joint Conference on Cognitive Science (EAPCogSci 2015), Torino, Italy, September 25-27, 2015. Vol. 1419. CEUR Workshop Proceedings, 2015. P. 15-15.
Khudyakova M., Bergelson M. Interpretation of “embarrassment” laughter in narratives by people with aphasia and non-language-impaired speakers, in: Proceedings of the 4th Interdisciplinary Workshop on Laughter and Other Non-verbal Vocalisations in Speech, 14-15 April 2015., 2015. P. 45-46.
Akinina Y., Bergelson M., Khudyakova M., Iskra E., Dragoy O. Verbs in aphasic discourse: data from the Russian Clinical Pear Stories Corpus // Stem-, Spraak- en Taalpathologie. 2015. Vol. 20. No. 1. P. 21-23.
Linnik A., Bastiaanse R., Khudyakova Mariya. What contributes to discourse coherence? Evidence from Russian speakers with and without aphasia // Stem-, Spraak- en Taalpathologie. 2015. Vol. 20. P. 107-110.
The project is supported by RFBR grant №13-06-00614a (2013 - 2015), principal investigator - Mira Bergelson
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