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Spanish verbal fluency. Normative data in Argentina. Letter and category fluency tasks are used to assess semantic knowledge, retrieval ability, and executive functioning. The original normative data have been obtained mainly from English speaking populations; there are few papers on norms in other languages. The purpose of this study was to collect normative scores in Argentina and to evaluate the effects of sex, age, education and cognitive status on the letter and category fluency tasks, in 266 healthy Spanish-speaking participants (16 to 86 years). Mean education span was 12.8 +/- 4 years. In each subject a neuropsychological battery (Minimental State Exam, Signoret Memory Battery, Boston Naming Test and Trail Making Test) was carried out as well as category fluency (naming animals in one minute) and letter fluency (words beginning with letter "p" in one minute). The sample was arranged into a group of subjects with less than 45 years and further groups up to 10 more years, until 75 years (or more) with three different levels of education. Significant effects were found for age, education, and Minimental State Exam on performance of both fluencies. Mean performance scores are presented for each group to be used in Argentina. mba
Estimation of premorbid intelligence: the word accentuation test-- Buenos Aires version. We have sought to adapt and validate a NART-like Spanish test, the Word Accentuation Test (WAT: Del Ser, Montalvo, Espinosa, Villapalos, & Bermejo, 1997) to estimate acquired intelligence in local normal older adults. The test requires examinees to read aloud infrequent, irregularly stressed Spanish words, a situation that presumably requires lexical knowledge. Results in a sample of 74 participants show that the revised WAT (i.e., the WAT for Buenos Aires) has good concurrent validity with the WAIS Vocabulary subtest and number of years of formal education, as well as high internal consistency. Performance on this test was dissociated from age, memory, or frontal/executive measures. jcen.
The utilitarian core hypothesis: cases for testing the stability of languages in the wake of conquest. Based on the "utilitarian core hypothesis" that the most common words of a language develop early and resist change, the current exploratory study examined three test cases to suggest what happens to the common core of a language when its speakers are conquered. Whissell (1998) raised this issue by implication through demonstrating that the common core of English is largely Anglo-Saxon and thus survived the Norman Conquest. The notion that unique merits of English accounted for its success has a long history dating at least to Verstegan (1605/1976). We suggested that there are also instances of conquest in history illustrating the persistence of other languages despite the political subjugation of their speakers. Test cases included, in addition to the Norman Conquest of England, the Arab-Berber Conquest of most of the Iberian Peninsula, and Russian domination of modern Uzbekistan. The combined results suggest that persistence of a utilitarian core despite conquest is not an isolated instance. As a phenomenon it offers a more parsimonious account than do appeals to the special merits of English, Spanish, or Modern Uzbek. We have integrated these findings within a psychological framework pertaining to language use and change. pr.