Sentence types and complexity of spontaneous discourse productions by Cantonese-speakers with traumatic brain injury– a preliminary report

Kai Yan Lau, Anthony Pak-Hin Kong, Michael Siu-Wai Chan

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Previous investigations on sentence production in English-speaking individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) have yielded mixed con- clusions based on their findings. While some studies found compar- able sentence complexity between speakers with TBI and control speakers, others reported more syntactic and lexical errors, reduced sentence complexity, and erroneous word order transpositions in the sentence production of speakers with TBI. These contradictory findings could possibly be due to the use of language measures that were less sensitive to subtle syntactic impairments among speakers with TBI. In this preliminary report, the language samples obtained from 11 Cantonese-speaking participants with mild-moderate TBI in Guangzhou, with a mean age of 37.6 and mean years of education of 10 years, and nine control speakers with a similar age range and education background were analyzed using in-depth linguistic- oriented frameworks adopted from pervious works in Cantonese. The results indicated that the TBI group produced more errors, differ- ent varieties of sentence types, and lower syntactic complexity in their sentence production compared with the control group. The findings suggested that the more refined and linguistic-oriented measures used in the present study were more sensitive in identifying the subtle syntactic impairments produced by the participants with TBI.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalClinical Linguistics and Phonetics
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2021

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