Journal List > Dement Neurocogn Disord > v.12(2) > 1120816

Dement Neurocogn Disord. 2013 Jun;12(2):41-46. Korean.
Published online Jun 30, 2013.
© 2013 Korean Dementia Association
Noun-Verb Dissociation in a Confrontation Naming Task for Persons with Mild Cognitive Impairment
Eunjung Choi, M.A.,* Jee Eun Sung, Ph.D.,* Jee Hyang Jeong, M.D., and Eunjung Kwag, M.A.
*Department of Communication Disorders, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea.
Korea University Medical Center at Ansan, Ansan, Department of Communication Disorders, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea.

Address for correspondence: Jee Eun Sung, Ph.D. Department of Communication Disorders, Ewha Womans University, 52 Ewhayeodae-gil, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-750, Korea. Tel: +82-2-3277-2208, Fax: +82-2-3277-2120, Email:
Received Apr 26, 2013; Revised Jun 25, 2013; Accepted Jun 25, 2013.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



The concept of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) refers to a transitional period between normal aging and clinically demented state such as Alzheimer's disease. Detection of individuals with MCI is critical for prognosis of the disease progression and treatment of patients at risk. The current study manipulated linguistic complexity in naming nouns and verbs to examine whether the linguistically different entities contribute to differentiating individuals with MCI from normal elderly adults. Specific aims of the study are 1) to investigate the noun-verb dissociation in naming between the MCI and normal control groups and 2) to examine the differential effects between the groups depending on the linguistic subtypes of nouns (animate vs. inanimate) and verbs (the argument structure).


Twenty normal elderly individuals and 19 individuals with MCI participated in this study. A confrontation naming task was employed. Nouns were divided into the two subtypes (animate vs. inanimate), and verbs were classified into the three subtypes depending on the number of argument (1-place, 2-place, and 3-place).


Results revealed that there were significant differences between the groups, indicating that individuals with MCI showed worse performance on naming in general than the control group. Furthermore, the MCI group presented differentially impaired performance on verbs than nouns compared to the control group.


The results from the current study suggested that performance on a verb confrontation naming task could serve as a sensitive index to differentiate the MCI group from normal aging group.

Keywords: Mild cognitive impairment; Naming; Verb; Noun


Fig. 1
Accuracy rate on noun and verb naming in two groups.
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Fig. 2
Accuracy rate on subtype of verb in two groups.
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Table 1
Demographic characteristics of Normal aging group and MCI
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Table 2
Descriptive analyses of accuracy rate on Noun and Verb naming in two groups
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Table 3
Descriptive analyses of accuracy rate on two subtypes of noun
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Table 4
Descriptive analyses of accuracy rate on three subtypes of verb
Click for larger image


The work was supported by the Ewha Global Top5 Grant 2013 of Ewha Womans University.

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