Poster C56, Sunday, March 26, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pacific Concourse
A Cross Linguistic Comparison of Category- and Letter- Fluency: Mandarin and English
Nancy Eng1,2, Melissa Salzberg1, Jet Vonk1,2, Nakyung Yoo1; 1Hunter College of CUNY, 2The Graduate Center of CUNY
Verbal fluency tasks are widely applied in a variety of languages, but whether the quality and quantity of responses are comparable across structurally different writing systems is debatable. For example, since there are no letters in a logographic, non-alphabetic language such as Chinese, the mechanisms speakers use to generate a list of words in a letter fluency task might be structurally different than those used by speakers of alphabetic languages. In this study we investigated lexical retrieval strategies and approaches in letter and category fluency tasks among monolingual Mandarin speakers compared to monolingual English speakers. We found that the responses of Mandarin speakers are both qualitatively and quantitatively different in letter fluency, and qualitatively different in category fluency. Statistically significant findings suggest that differences in task completion among non-English-speaking populations are important to consider when using this extensively utilized cognitive and linguistic measure in research and clinic. Moreover, these findings shed light on the language specific word retrieval strategies in healthy Mandarin-speakers. Without the requisite linguistic backdrop, responses from speakers of different languages may be inaccurately viewed as atypical, etc.
Topic Area: LANGUAGE: Lexicon