Persons with Alzheimer's disease (AD) demonstrate a severe lexical impairment that affects conceptual knowledge. Research into aspects of word structure and the structural relationships between words, however, has been scarce in this population. Taking advantage of the rich morphology of Hebrew, the current article examines the status of morphological decomposition in AD. Fourteen persons with AD and 48 control participants completed 2 experiments: The 1st investigated root extraction from pseudoverbs containing existing and nonexisting consonantal roots, and the 2nd looked at sensitivity to morphological priming effects. Results suggest that despite severe semantic-conceptual deficits on naming, fluency, and comprehension tasks, persons with AD engage in adequate morphological decomposition of words, in a similar manner to normal adult speakers of Hebrew.
KEY WORDS: Alzheimer's disease, language, morphology, priming, Hebrew
Submitted on June 19, 2003
Accepted on November 23, 2003