Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Aphasia, Hand Gestures, Discourse, Intervention, Language

Major Advisor

Dr. Carl Coelho

Associate Advisor

Dr. Marie Coppola

Associate Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Mozeiko

Field of Study

Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Campus Access


Hand gestures and body movements are a frequent complement to spoken human language. They often communicate ancillary information to the verbal message, and are theorized to aid the cognitive load associated with several tasks (e.g., lexical retrieval & short term memory). However, the current literature specifically focuses on the micro-linguistic benefits (e.g., single word and utterance production) that gesture can provide for both typical and Persons With Aphasia (PWA). Moreover, PWA have been documented to gesture more frequently then healthy controls. However, it is not understood if this increased frequency may affect macro-linguistic production (e.g., relating multiple utterances together), as well as the micro-linguistic level. The following study explores if gesture can provide a similar benefit for spoken language production and comprehension in different PWA subtypes (i.e., Anomic, Broca’s, & Wernicke’s). The results provide evidence that certain aspects of gesture can predict increased spoken language production on a macro-linguistic scale, but not necessarily a micro-linguistic one. Additionally, there did not seem to have any aid the comprehension of PWA language samples to a group of naïve listeners. The data is discussed in relation to the context of the focus of prior studies, and how the consideration of other domains of language performance may incorporate the benefit of gesture for more comprehensive language production.