A Study of Syntactic Complexity in Language Production by Chinese-Speaking Older Adults

Xinmiao Liu, Haiyan Wang


The syntactic complexity of language production changes as a result of ageing. In this study, we made a comparison between Chinese-speaking older and younger adults in terms of the syntactic complexity in spoken language production. To assess the level of syntactic complexity of language production, we applied the traditional measures of syntactic complexity such as sentence length, verbal fluency and the distribution of subordinate clauses. Results indicated that older adults showed a decline in the mean number of clauses, the proportion of right-branching clauses and verbal fluency. These findings indicate that there was a decline in syntactic complexity in spoken language production among Chinese-speaking older adults.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/sll.v3n1p79


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