An analysis of discourse presented in transcripts of the Cinderella story retold from memory by aphasic and neurotypical speakers

Bryn Griswold


Background: People with aphasia (PWA) experience a range of communication difficulties. Communicative deficits typically include problems with connected speech, or discourse. Improving communication success at the level of discourse is often a primary goal in aphasia rehabilitation. This investigation questions which skills should be targeted during aphasia rehabilitation in order to most efficiently result in discourse improvement. Most often, therapy has focused on sentence level skills (e.g., word-finding or syntax/grammar) because these are recognized as areas of impairment. However, Linnik et al. (2016) recently reported on a treatment that placed greater emphasis on suprasentence level skills (e.g., organization of ideas or coherence).

Aims: The study aims to determine the sentence and suprasentence level impairments exhibited by people with aphasia when they were asked to retell the Cinderella story from memory. Moreover, this study aims to compare their performance to that of neurotypical participants. Specifically, areas of interest addressed throughout this investigation include: (1) the number of main concepts that the participants included when they retold the story, (2) the order in which the participants arranged the 5 story events, and (3) potential correlations between these components and the Western Aphasia Battery (WAB) test scores.