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Title: Doing aphasia : aphasic discourse from a non-aphasic perspective
Author: Merrison, Andrew John
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1998
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Although this thesis is primarily about aphasia it is not about the linguistic abilities of aphasic individuals per se. Rather, its central topic is concerned with how people who do not have aphasia interact with people who do. Human communication is a process involving interactive and collaborative effort and its success in dependent on the joint responsibility of both partners. If aphasic participants can effectively draw on their non-impaired partner's abilities, then this strategy should not be ignored. The question we need to ask is How does it work? This dissertation attempts to provide a coherent answer to that question. The data comprises 16 dialogues: eight dyads of previously unacquainted aphasic and non-aphasic individuals (abbreviated as 'Aphasic Dialogues' or ADs), and eight dyads of previously unacquainted non-aphasic interactants (abbreviated as 'Control Dialogues' or CDs). The overall aim of this thesis is to show (i) how non-aphasic dialogue partners manage their interactions with aphasic individuals, and (ii) how their behaviour can be seen to be compensating for the apparent linguistic deficits of their aphasic interlocutor. More specifically, the thesis tests various hypotheses about the differences between AD and CD interactions. Compared to data from the CDs, results indicate that when engaged in talk with aphasic dialogue partners, non-impaired speakers (i) do more of the collaborative work; (ii) attempt to avoid highlighting any non-competence on the part of their interlocutor by employing strategies of explicitness and reductionist simplification; and (iii) in so doing enable their interactants to demonstrate their ability to communicate much better than their linguistic impairments might otherwise suggest. In short, when engaged in talk with aphasic dialogue partners, non-impaired speakers invest a great deal of effort into doing aphasia.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available