Linguistic Deficits Identifying Thought-Disordered Speech in a Narrative Production Task (2017)

On December 14, 2015 by Gabriel Sevilla

Lead investigator: Gabriel Sevilla

Collaborators: FIDMAG

This project set out to define the linguistic profile of thought-disordered schizophrenia (SZ+FTD), as diagnosed with the Scale for the Assessment of Thought, Language, and Communication (TLC), compared with non-thought-disordered schizophrenia (SZ-FTD) and healthy controls (HC) during a third-person narrative production task (retelling of a fairy tale). Having completed data collection and analysis, our results indicate that patients with SZ+FTD can be distinguished from patients with SZ-FTD and HC based on deficits in the use of definite noun phrases (e.g. he, the man), but not of indefinite noun phrases (e.g. someone, a man). By contrast, the grammatical well-formedness and the syntactic complexity of thought-disordered speech didn’t significantly differ from that of patients without thought disorder and HC. These results highlight the critical importance of specific grammatical features in the assessment of thought-disordered speech, and suggest their potential use as a clinical marker.


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