The language of persons with Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been characterized by semantic-conceptual deterioration versus structural preservation, yet the research has not examined possible differentiation between syntactic and morphological knowledge. Taking advantage of the rich morphology of Hebrew, the current paper looks at these two aspects of grammatical knowledge in descriptions of the Cookie Theft picture. Speech samples were collected from 14 persons with AD and 48 elderly control participants and analyzed for semantic, syntactic, and morphological knowledge or difficulties. Analyses showed that although persons with AD conveyed less information and made more semantic errors than did control participants, their language remained structurally rich. Persons with AD used the same syntactic structures and the same morphological forms as control participants and made very few structural errors.
- Alzheimer's disease
- Spontaneous speech