About The Book

For readers looking to understand lexical access and word-finding difficulty (WFD), Semantic Processing and Word Finding Difficulty Across the Lifespan: A Practical Guide for Speech-Language Pathologists provides a comprehensive review of current research and clinical approaches to establish a holistic, interdisciplinary understanding of lexical access and retrieval difficulty across different communication disorders. By including practical guidelines and protocols, this professional text can help speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and other related professionals bridge the gap between research and clinical practice.

This text covers a wide range of communication disorders, including developmental language disorder, autism spectrum disorder, aphasia, normal aging, and dementia. It illustrates the connections between the research evidence and clinical practice and addresses lexical learning and retrieval difficulty through a holistic lens and cognitive-linguistic frameworks. This text integrates research evidence from a variety of disciplines, including speech-language pathology, linguistics, neuroscience, and psychology. The authors take readers for a deep dive into different underlying problems that lead to lexical access and retrieval difficulty and strategies to remediate them effectively. By addressing lexical issues from a broader view, this unique resource helps readers see the connections from different perspectives to further understand the complex issues involved in lexical learning and retrieval.

Key Features

  • A discussion of lexical learning and expansion from birth to school-age by incorporating metalinguistic skills and considering the relationships between language domains.
  • An exploration of contributing factors to lexical learning and word retrieval.
  • A holistic review of standardized and nonstandard measures for the breadth and depth of lexical access and retrieval across the lifespan and for people with diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
  • A comprehensive review of current available evidence-based and semantic-focused interventions for both developmental and neurogenic communication disorders.
  • Chapter summaries and discussion questions close each chapter.
  • Clinical implication sections help connect research to clinical practice.
  • Therapy plan examples for commonly implemented lexical intervention approaches.
  • A PluralPlus companion website with printable versions of the forms in the book

About The Authors

Pei-Fang HungPhDCCC-SLP, is an Associate Professor and Department Chair in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology at California State University, Long Beach. Her research interests are aphasia management, neurogenic cognitive-communication disorders, and language impairments related to early dementia. She is a trilingual speech-language pathologist who holds certificates and licenses in both the U.S. and Taiwan and has extensive clinical experience working with people with neurogenic speech and language disorders. 

Lei Sun, PhD, CCC-SLP, is an associate professor in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology at Californian State University Long, Beach (CSULB). She was born and raised in Taiwan and completed her BA and MA in Taiwan before changing the career path to become a speech-language pathologist. Dr. Sun speaks Mandarin Chinese as her primary language and is an English language learner. Before joining CSULB in 2011, she was a school-based SLP, primarily working in preschools and elementary schools. Dr. Sun is passionate about developmental language disorders, language-based learning disability, functional speech sound disorders, and multicultural/multilingual issues.

Table Of Contents


Chapter 1. Introduction to Lexicon
Lei Sun

Chapter 2. Introduction to Lexical Production Models and Related Neural Network
Pei-Fang Hung

Chapter 3. Early Lexical Development: From Prelinguistic Stage to Toddler
Lei Sun

Chapter 4. Vocabulary Expansion from Preschool and Beyond
Lei Sun

Chapter 5. Variables that Affect Word Retrieval in Adults with Acquired Language Disorders
Kris Brock

Chapter 6. Word Access and Retrieval Difficulty in Different Populations
Lei Sun and Pei-Fang Hung

Chapter 7. Assessment of Lexical Knowledge and Word Production
Lei Sun and Pei-Fang Hung

Chapter 8. Approaches to Facilitate Vocabulary Learning and Word Retrieval in Children
Lei Sun

Chapter 9. Treatment for Lexical Retrieval in Neurogenic Language Disorders
Pei-Fang Hung

Chapter 10. Semantic Processing Bilinguals
Belinda Daughrity



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