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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Commun Sci Disord. 2021;26(4): 847-862.
Published online December 31, 2021.
doi: https://doi.org/10.12963/csd.21832
Effects of Differential Presentation of Noun Types on Sentence Processing in Elderly Adults: An Eye-tracking Study
Suji Kim , and Jee Eun Sung
Department of Communication Disorders, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea
Corresponding Author: Jee Eun Sung ,Tel: +82-2-3277-2208, Fax: +82-2-3277-2122, Email: jeesung@ewha.ac.kr
Received July 5, 2021  Revised: July 29, 2021   Accepted August 5, 2021
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ABSTRACT
Objectives
The purpose of this study is to investigate how aging influences sentence processing when noun-phrases are presented differently.
Methods
A total of 40 participants participated in the study ranging in age from 19 to 71. All were presented with sentences and pictures under either dative or accusative conditions. After that, they were asked to judge if the sentences were correct or incorrect.
Results
First, there were significant differences between the older adults and younger adults in accuracy. The older group showed lower accuracy in the sentence judgment task. Second, there were significant differences between the older adults and younger adults in response time. The older group needed more time due to their lower cognitive resources. They made more errors when accusative noun phrases were provided. Third, the fixation proportion of the target stimulus between regions were significant in both types of dative and accusative noun phrase presentation. The older group showed lower proportions in the last region of the sentence.
Conclusion
These results shows that both the elderly and the young gradually deal with the meaning of words through the noun phrase information. However, the elderly showed difficulty in assigning the correct thematic roles by using case-markers, given the lower proportion of fixation in the region where the target stimuli are presented. It is expected that difficulties in the communication process of the elderly will be better understood through this study.
Keywords: Sentence processing | Eye-tracking | Noun-phrase | Aging
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