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ALEA: a Norm-Referenced Protocol for the Clinical Analysis of Spontaneous Speech in Spanish

EasyChair Preprint no. 6498

3 pagesDate: August 31, 2021


Spontaneous speech analysis (SpSA) allows to detect aphasic deficits which may be missed by standard tests and provides a baseline for further assessment. However, SpSA methods often lack clinical applicability given their time-consuming nature. Moreover, there is currently no standardised method for SpSA in Spanish. This presentation seeks to address these gaps by introducing the ALEA (Análisis del Lenguaje Espontáneo en Adultos).

The ALEA is a novel comprehensive method made up of 9 indices adapted from previously existing procedures and targeting sentence (MLU, approximation, finiteness, grammaticality & subordination) and word level phenomena (paraphasias and neologisms, nº of nouns, verbs & incorrect verbs). It aims at ensuring reliability across a range of Spanish-speaking adult healthy and clinical populations, including those with mild aphasia. Semi-spontaneous speech samples are implemented in the ALEA app (, which automatically calculates the results after a minimal coding process.

The results of 119 Spanish-speaking healthy volunteers provide a norm-referenced sample. Cut-off points for each index were calculated at the 5th and 95th percentile. Multiple regression analyses suggested that variables such as age, educational attainment and gender had low explanatory power. Clinical data from post-stroke aphasia (n=15), dementia (n=15), tumors (n=12) and vascular malformations (n=5) confirms the potential of the ALEA as a clinical screening tool.

The ALEA is a reliable tool for Spanish-speaking adult populations. The main strength of the ALEA is its controlled length and easiness of administration, which favors its implementation in the clinical practice. The number of indices is kept to a minimum to provide a first screening of the speech output of different groups of adults. Additional research is still needed to validate its specificity and sensitivity across populations.

Keyphrases: alea, language impairment, Spanish, Spontaneous Speech Analysis

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Caitlin Holme and Silvia Martínez-Ferreiro and Karina Sandoval-León and Bárbara Cortés-Rivera and Paula Méndez-Orellana and José Conejeros-Pavez and Carolina Méndez-Orellana},
  title = {ALEA: a Norm-Referenced Protocol for the Clinical Analysis of Spontaneous Speech in Spanish},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 6498},

  year = {EasyChair, 2021}}
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