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Investigating the impact of unfamiliar speaker accent on auditory comprehension in adults with aphasia

Dunton, J; (2007) Investigating the impact of unfamiliar speaker accent on auditory comprehension in adults with aphasia. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The UK is a highly multi-cultural society, where all individuals are likely to come into contact with speakers with unfamiliar accents. Recent figures suggest that such accent variation may be particularly apparent within the National Health Service (NHS) workforce. Research on accent variation has demonstrated that an unfamiliar speaker accent can affect listener comprehension, but the impact of speaker accent on the comprehension skills of listeners with neurological impairment has not been widely explored. This study investigated the effect of an unfamiliar accent on the sentence comprehension of individuals with aphasia following stroke. It measured the impact of two different accents (South-East England and Nigerian) on accuracy and response time for 16 individuals with aphasia and 16 control subjects. Participants were presented with a computer-based sentence comprehension task using stimuli from the Comprehensive Aphasia Test (Swinburn, Porter & Howard, 2004), and their accuracy and response times were recorded. Results showed that individuals with aphasia made significantly more errors in comprehension of sentences spoken in an unfamiliar accent than in a familiar accent, a finding that was not demonstrated by the control group when outliers were excluded. Response times did not show significant effects of speaker accent for either group. The findings of this study indicate that the impact of speaker accent should be considered in the rehabilitation of individuals with aphasia following stroke, and a number of possible clinical implications are discussed.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Investigating the impact of unfamiliar speaker accent on auditory comprehension in adults with aphasia
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Language and Cognition
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1569303
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