• Generalization across verb types after Verb Network Strengthening Treatment (VNeST): A treatment study

      Maas, Edwin; DeDe, Gayle; Reilly, Jamie (Temple University. Libraries, 2016)
      Research in communication disorders suggests that training linguistically complex forms will generalize to untrained, simpler forms with similar structural properties (see Thompson, 2007 for review). The present study investigated generalization patterns from transitive verbs to two classes of intransitive verbs following administration of Verb Network Strengthening Treatment (VNeST; Edmonds, Nadeau & Kiran, 2009). Based on the Argument Structure Complexity Hypothesis (ASCH; Thompson, 2003), it was predicted that greater generalization would occur to unergatives because unergatives bear a structural relationship to transitive verbs and unaccusatives do not. Results at post-treatment supported the hypothesis with both intransitive verb types showing generalization and slightly higher effect sizes observed for unergative than for unaccusative verbs. At maintenance, this pattern was not maintained due to improvements in production of unaccusative verbs. Results support the findings of Edmonds et al. (2009) that administration of VNeST results in gains on measures of untrained, semantically related verbs as well as standardized measures of lexical retrieval and connected speech. These results also suggest that training transitive verbs results in slight generalization to untrained intransitive verbs; however, it is inconclusive whether unergative and unaccusatives intransitives show differential improvement.