LING620

Spring 2018
Research Topics in Clinical Linguistics

This syllabus will adapt to reflect the background and interests of class participants.

TOPIC 1: We're going to start by looking at the linguistic correlates of various neurodegenerative disorders. For background, take a look at the Penn Frontotemporal Degeneration Center's pages "About FTD and Related Disorders".

Then for the first meeting on 1/18/2018, read the following papers:

Le et al., "Longitudinal detection of dementia through lexical and syntactic changes in writing: a case study of three British novelists", Literary and Linguistic Computing 2011.

Hirst & Wei Feng, "Changes in style in authors with Alzheimer's disease", English Studies 2012.

Fraser et al., "Automated classification of primary progressive aphasia subtypes from narrative speech transcripts", Cortex 2012

Ash et al., "Differentiating primary progressive aphasias in a brief sample of connected speech", Neurology 2013.

Forbes-McKay et al., "Profiling spontaneous speech decline in Alzheimer's disease: a longitudinal study", Acta Neuropsychiatrica 2013.

Ash et al., "Narrative discourse deficits in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis", Neurology 2014.

Fraser et al., "Using statistical parsing to detect agrammatic aphasia", BioNLP 2014.

Fraser et al., "Comparison of different feature sets for identification of variants in progressive aphasia", Workshop on Computational Linguistics and Clinical Psychology 2014.

Ash & Grossman, "Why study connected speech?", in R. M. Willems (Ed.), Cognitive Neuroscience of Natural Language Use, 2015.

Berisha et al., “Tracking Discourse Complexity Preceding Alzheimer's Disease Diagnosis: A Case Study Comparing the Press Conferences of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush”, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 2015

Dodge et al. "Social markers of mild cognitive impairment: Proportion of word counts in free conversational speech", Current Alzheimer Research, 2015

Fraser et al., "Sentence segmentation of aphasic speech", NYT-NAACL 2015.

Fraser et al., "Detecting late-life depression in Alzheimer's disease through analysis of speech and language", HLT-NAACL 2016.

Fraser & Hirst, "Detecting semantic changes in Alzheimer’s disease with vector space models", LREC 2016.

Hirst et al., "Method and system of longitudinal detection of dementia through lexical and syntactic changes in writing", U.S. Patent 951428182, 2016.

Nevler et al., "Automatic Measurement of Prosody in Behavioral Variant FTD", Neurology 2017

Gitit Kavé & Mira Goral, "Word retrieval in connected speech in Alzheimer's disease: a review with meta-analyses", Aphasiology 2018


Gitit Kavé & Ayelet Dassa, "Severity of Alzheimer's disease and language features in picture descriptions", Aphasiology 2018


Cera et al., "Phonetic and phonologicl aspects of speech in Alzheimer's disease", Aphasiology 2018


Abdall et al., "Rhetorical structure and Alzheimer's disease", Aphasiology 2018


Some of these papers and chapters are not available online through Penn's library subscription -- Read the abstracts anyhow, and I'll try to get versions posted on the course Canvas site at some point in the future.

Key questions for each paper: What exactly did they do? What were the results? What are the potential problems?
Overall questions: What are the features/measurements/metrics that are found or claimed to be diagnostically relevant?

You might also read through the introductory materials for the LDC's collaborative project with the Framingham Heart Study.