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Everyday talk between people with aphasia and their conversational partners Elizabeth Armstrong PhD Lynne Mortensen PhD Macquarie University.

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Presentation on theme: "Everyday talk between people with aphasia and their conversational partners Elizabeth Armstrong PhD Lynne Mortensen PhD Macquarie University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Everyday talk between people with aphasia and their conversational partners Elizabeth Armstrong PhD Lynne Mortensen PhD Macquarie University

2 Why Conversation?  Everyday talk: a functional clinical goal –Essence of human interaction & human relationships (Lock, Wilkinson & Bryan, 2001) –Every day we engage with others through talk. –Motivated to by need to  communicate ideas  interpersonal needs to establish and maintain relationships  negotiate particular dimensions of our social identity (Eggins & Slade1997). – –Compromise (as in aphasia) has significant psychosocial implications.

3 Rationale cont’d  Aphasic speakers use different language in conversation c/f picture description and other monologues (Beekes et al, 2003; Lock et al, 2001)  Corpus linguistic data points to wide variations in everyday talk  Enables aphasic speakers to make maximum use of residual communicative resources  A conversational approach within and beyond the clinic promotes ‘carryover’  Can provide model for training relatives and carers in natural conversational interactions

4 Details of research project   Aim: – –The study examines conversations between an aphasic speaker and conversational partner and takes an interpersonal perspective on the meanings exchanged.   Participants & data: – –Naturalistic conversational samples obtained from 8 participants (4 couples) in their home   Analysis – –SFL is the theoretical framework used, specifically an interpersonal perspective on the meanings exchanged.

5 Wording eg. tag questions, evaluative words, modality Semantics eg. speech function: command, question, challenge Genre/text type eg. recount Context of situation i.e. Field, Tenor, Mode

6 Research questions   The following questions are explored:   i) What kinds of genres do aphasic individuals participate in during everyday interactions within the home environment?   ii) What kinds of speech functions are demonstrated by aphasic speakers during conversation, in the presence of significant lexicogrammatical difficulties, and what are some of the potential compromises involved   iii) what are the conversational partner’s contributions to conversations and how do these impact on the aphasic speaker’s language choices

7 Genre of casual conversation  Schematic structure  Greeting  Address – usually realised by saying someone’s name  Direct approach – personal; conversation about health, clothing, family (i.e. friend to friend)  Indirect approach – contextual talk about the weather, the immediate surroundings (stranger or acquaintance)  Centering – talk about more involved topics, speaker’s world views  Identification – speakers introduce themselves (strangers)  Leave-taking – indicating the anticipated end of the conversation  Goodbye  Grammatical patterns  Informal language between friends, e.g –attitudinal lexis –colloquial lexis including abbreviated forms, slang, swearing –interruptions and overlaps –first names, nick-names, diminutives –modalisation to express probability and opinion  More formal language between strangers or acquaintances, e.g –neutral lexis –formal lexis – full forms, no slang –politeness forms –careful turn-taking –titles, no first names –modalisation to express deference, e.g. “I wonder would you mind closing the window” 

8 Dialogue: Speech functions and the exchange of meanings  Different genres can be embedded within conversation or everyday talk, e.g.  monologic recounts, expression of opinions as expositions or arguments, gossip, chat.  Speech functions vary to reflect the exchange of information & interpersonal meanings typical of these different genres  Conversation is –an interactive event in which a speaker adopts a particular speech role and assigns a complementary role to the listener –an exchange in which giving implies receiving and demanding implies a response

9 Speech functions and the exchange of meanings Basic Speech Functions Initiation Response SupportingConfronting Give: Information Statement Acknowledge Contradict Demand: Information Question Answer Withhold Give: G&S Offer Accept Decline Demand: G&SCommand Undertake Refuse

10 Primary speech functions & responses


12 Example  Participant A:  75 Years old  CVA 14 years ago  Predominantly expressive nonfluent aphasia  BDAE severity rating 2  Born in Holland – in Australia since 1950  Prior to stroke, managed small businesses  Participant M:  Prior to stroke, managed small businesses  A’s wife  67 years old  Special education teacher retires after A had stroke

13 Text types  Dreadful lunch: –monologue (recount) - A –information exchange - A & M –monologue (exposition)- M  Shopping text: –negotiation of goods and services - between A & M

14 Speech functions: Patterns of choice


16 Discussion points  Different genres across and within texts  A’s relative strengths and weaknesses across texts  M’s  M’s contributions to conversations and how they impact on A’s language choices – –‘successful’ vs. ‘unsuccessful’   Possible measures

17 Speech function measures: Descriptive  Does the aphasic speaker have as large a variety of speech functions as the partner?  Can the aphasic speaker initiate an interaction? If so, what functions does s/he use – questions only?  Can the aphasic speaker continue a conversation –can s/he follow-up on comments of the partner?  Does the aphasic speaker introduce new information?  Does the partner tend to ask questions only? How does the aphasic speaker respond to questions?  Does the partner follow up on statements by the aphasic speaker?  Does the partner use a range of speech functions?

18 Other: Quantitative  Number of times each partner initiates and responds – as above, exploring the roles of each partner in the conversation  Number of words per speech function (e.g., monitoring amount of language used by the aphasic speaker in particular, but also the non-aphasic partner. It might happen that the non-aphasic person is using too many words and that length is an issue for the aphasic person’s comprehension)  Number of turns involving ellipsis  Number of clauses per turn (monitoring the amount that each person contributes – is one dominating?)

19 Other  No. turns involving repair (Booth & Perkins, 1999)  Average length of repair sequences (Booth & Perkins, 1999)  speaking rate (words per minute) (Boles, 1998)  speaking efficiency (words per utterance) (Boles, 1998)  relative contribution to conversation e.g., number of utterances per speaker

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