Cross-Modal Generalization Effects of Training Noncanonical Sentence Comprehension and Production in Agrammatic Aphasia

Beverly J. Jacobs*, Cynthia K. Thompson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


The cross-modal generalization effects of training complex sentence comprehension and complex sentence production were examined in 4 individuals with agrammatic Broca's aphasia who showed difficulty comprehending and producing complex, noncanonical sentences. Object-cleft and passive sentences were selected for treatment because the two are linguistically distinct, relying on wh- and NP movement, respectively (Chomsky, 1 986). Two participants received comprehension training, and 2 received production training using linguistic specific treatment (LST). LST takes participants through a series of steps that emphasize the verb and verb argument structure, as well as the linguistic movement required to derive target sentences. A single-subject multiple-baseline design across behaviors was used to measure acquisition and generalization within and across sentence types, as well as cross-modal generalization (i.e., from comprehension to production and vice versa) and generalization to discourse. Results indicated that both treatment methods were effective for training comprehension and production of target sentences and that comprehension treatment resulted in generalization to spoken and written sentence production. Sentence production treatment generalized to written sentence production only; generalization to comprehension did not occur. Across sentence types generalization also did not occur, as predicted, and the effects of treatment on discourse were inconsistent across participants. These data are discussed with regard to models of normal sentence comprehension and production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-20
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2000


  • Agrammatic aphasia
  • Cross-modal generalization
  • Sentence comprehension
  • Sentence production
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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