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Are acronyms really irregular? Preserved acronym reading in a case of semantic dementia / David Playfoot; Cristina Izura; Jeremy Tree

Neuropsychologia, Volume: 51, Issue: 9, Pages: 1673 - 1683

Swansea University Authors: David, Playfoot, Cristina, Izura, Jeremy, Tree

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Abstract

This paper describes the performance of a patient with semantic dementia on tasks involving acronym reading. Patient JD’s ability to categorise, recognise and read aloud acronyms was assessed longitudinally over a period of 18 months. Most acronyms have orthographic and phonological configurations t...

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Published in: Neuropsychologia
ISSN: 0028-3932
Published: 2013
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa15133
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Abstract: This paper describes the performance of a patient with semantic dementia on tasks involving acronym reading. Patient JD’s ability to categorise, recognise and read aloud acronyms was assessed longitudinally over a period of 18 months. Most acronyms have orthographic and phonological configurations that are different from English words (BBC, DVD, HIV). This has led to the assumption that they must be processed in the same way as irregular words. Semantic dementia leads to deficits in irregular word reading while reading accuracy for regular words is retained. The decline in JD’s semantic system led to increasingly impaired semantic categorisation and lexical decision for acronyms relative to healthy controls. However, her accuracy for reading aloud acronyms pronounced letter by letter remained near ceiling. It is therefore argued that not all acronyms can be considered irregular.
Keywords: Acronyms, semantic dementia, regularity, context, reading
College: College of Human and Health Sciences
Issue: 9
Start Page: 1673
End Page: 1683