Semantic and syntactic processing of mass and count nouns: Data from dementia

Sara Mondini, Giorgio Arcara, Gonia Jarema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the present research, we investigated the processing of Italian mass and count nouns and of their semantic and morphosyntactic attributes in people with neurodegenerative disease. The performance of a group of 26 Italian participants with Alzheimer's disease was studied in a semantic judgment task and a syntactic judgment task. Results were analyzed by means of mixed-effect models, revealing an interaction between task and stimulus category: The probability for correct responses to mass stimuli was significantly lower than that for count stimuli, but only in the semantic task. These findings confirm the major semantic impairment in dementia and suggest that mass nouns have particular features that make them more prone to impairment than count nouns for a progressively degenerating brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)967-980
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Oct 21 2014


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Dementia of alzheimer type
  • Mass/count nouns
  • Noncountable nouns
  • Semantic impairment
  • Syntactic impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Medicine(all)


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