Spontaneous speech in patients with early-stage dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment

The role of age of acquisition


  • Lorenzo Ciaurelli Università di Roma “La Sapienza”
  • Daniela Beltrami Arcispedale S. Maria Nuova, Reggio Emilia




early-stage dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, age of acquisition, spontaneous speech


The aim of this study is evaluating differences in the characteristics of words produced by patients with early-stage dementia(e-D) and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and healthy control (HC). We used two different corpora to obtain an age of acquisition (AoA) and word frequency values for words produced by subjects in two semi-spontaneous speech tasks. The results are in line with the tendencies found in previous studies for English and Italian (Silveri et al., 2002; Forbes-McKay et al., 2005; Rodríguez-Ferreiro et al., 2009; Cuetos, Herrera & Ellis, 2010), that is the words produced by e-D patients have a lower age of acquisition value than those produced by MCI or HC. Concerning word frequency value, no significant difference was found between words produced by these different populations.




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