Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

The Influence of Syntactic and Semantic Context on Word-monitoring Latencies in Normal Aging

Author(s) Robin S Waldstein
Shari R Baum
Volume 16
Number 3
Year 1992
Page(s) 217-222
Language English
Keywords aging
Abstract This study explored the influences of syntactic and semantic context on on-line word recognition in normal younger and older adults. Ten subjects in each of four age groups (20s, 60s, 70s, 80s) participated in a word-monitoring task in which the stimuli were syntactically and semantically normal, syntactically normal but semantically anomalous, and syntactically and semantically anomalous (random word order) strings. The purpose of the task was to determine whether, relative to younger adults, older subjects would demonstrate an increased reliance on sentential contextual cues in on-line linguistic processing. Results revealed that, regardless of age, all subjects' word-monitoring latencies were comparably influenced by semantic and syntactic context. The findings are discussed in relation to theories of cognitive and linguistic decline in normal aging.

Cette étude examine les influences du contexte syntaxique et sémantique sur la reconnaissance des mots en direct chez de jeunes adultes et des adultes plus âgés normaux. Dix sujets dans chacun des quatre groupes d'âge (20-29, 60-69, 70-79 et 80-89 ans) ont participé à un exercice de reconnaissance des mots, dans lequel les stimuli étaient des phrases syntaxiquement et sémantiquement correctes, des phrases syntaxiquement correctes mais sémantiquement incorrectes, et des phrases syntaxiquement et sémantiquement incorrectes (mots sans aucun ordre). Cet exercice avait pour but de déterminer si, par rapport aux jeunes sujets, les sujets plus âgés se fiaient davantage au contexte des phrases pour le traitement linguistique en direct. D'après les résultats, les temps de latence de la reconnaissance pour tous les sujets, quel que soit leur âge, ont été influencés de la même façon par le contexte syntaxique et sémantique. On analyse les conclusions en fonction de certaines théories du déclin cognitif et linguistique au cours du vieillissement normal.
Record ID 347
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