Algorithmic classification of five characteristic types of paraphasias

Gerasimos Fergadiotis, Kyle Gorman, Steven Bedrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study was intended to evaluate a series of algorithms developed to perform automatic classification of paraphasic errors (formal, semantic, mixed, neologistic, and unrelated errors). Method: We analyzed 7, 111 paraphasias from the Moss Aphasia Psycholinguistics Project Database (Mirman et al., 2010) and evaluated the classification accuracy of 3 automated tools. First, we used frequency norms from the SUBTLEXus database (Brysbaert & New, 2009) to differentiate nonword errors and real-word productions. Then we implemented a phonological-similarity algorithm to identify phonologically related real-word errors. Last, we assessed the performance of a semantic-similarity criterion that was based on word2vec (Mikolov, Yih, & Zweig, 2013). Results: Overall, the algorithmic classification replicated human scoring for the major categories of paraphasias studied with high accuracy. The tool that was based on the SUBTLEXus frequency norms was more than 97% accurate in making lexicality judgments. The phonological-similarity criterion was approximately 91% accurate, and the overall classification accuracy of the semantic classifier ranged from 86% to 90%. Conclusion: Overall, the results highlight the potential of tools from the field of natural language processing for the development of highly reliable, cost-effective diagnostic tools suitable for collecting high-quality measurement data for research and clinical purposes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S776-S787
JournalAmerican Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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