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  • Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics 10/2013; 27(10-11):851-852. DOI:10.3109/02699206.2013.816779
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract In this article, Conversation Analysis (CA) is used to investigate the nature of aphasia naming tests in terms of their properties as a specialized form of social interaction. The basic test-item sequence which occurs in these tests is shown to be made up of a three-part sequential structure consisting of (1) a testing prompt, (2) a proffered answer by the testee, and (3) an acceptance or declining of that proffered answer by the tester. A declining prompts a further answer to be proffered, and this cycle continues until either an answer is accepted by the tester or until the participants treat the testee as being unable to produce the relevant picture name. It is suggested that the results of the analysis have implications for understanding naming tests as instruments which generate theoretical and clinical findings through particular talk-in-interaction practices.
    Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics 09/2013; 27(10-11). DOI:10.3109/02699206.2013.815279
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Primary objective: To explore how traumatic brain injury (TBI) rehabilitation staff and adults who have sustained TBI refer during clinical interaction to the precipitating event. Design: Interviews conducted during the initial assessment phase of TBI rehabilitation were examined using Conversation Analysis. Participants: Participants were nine men and one woman, all of whom had sustained TBI of sufficient severity to warrant referral for community rehabilitation. Age range was 24-50 years (mean 35 years). The period between injury and interview was between 9 months and 20 years. Main outcomes and results: Analysis of interactions between rehabilitation staff and people with TBI indicated discrepancies in the way they refer to the original event. Staff tended to use 'head/brain injury' in contrast to the use by people with TBI of 'accident/crash'. There were also differences of expression in terms of 'ownership' (e.g. your injury vs. the injury) and 'agency' (the degree to which the person with TBI was portrayed as having been part of the process of sustaining the TBI). Conclusion: The implications of these discrepancies are discussed in relation to self-identity and insight after TBI. The possible impact of this terminological tension on the rehabilitation process is also discussed.
    Brain Injury 09/2013; 27(12). DOI:10.3109/02699052.2013.831125
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Conversation Analysis (CA) continues to accrue interest within clinical linguistics as a methodology that can enable elucidation of structural and sequential orderliness in interactions involving participants who produce ostensibly disordered communication behaviours. However, it can be challenging to apply CA to re-examine clinical phenomena that have initially been defined in terms of linguistics, as a logical starting point for analysis may be to focus primarily on the organisation of language ("talk") in such interactions. In this article, we argue that CA's methodological power can only be fully exploited in this research context when a multimodal analytic orientation is adopted, where due consideration is given to participants' co-ordinated use of multiple semiotic resources including, but not limited to, talk (e.g. gaze, embodied action, object use and so forth). To evidence this argument, a two-layered analysis of unusual question-answer sequences in a play episode involving a child with autism is presented. It is thereby demonstrated that only when the scope of enquiry is broadened to include gaze and other embodied action can an account be generated of orderliness within these sequences. This finding has important implications for CA's application as a research methodology within clinical linguistics.
    Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics 09/2013; 27(10-11). DOI:10.3109/02699206.2013.816780
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    ABSTRACT: Standardised tests of whole-word accuracy are popular in the speech pathology and developmental psychology literature as measures of children's speech performance. However, they may not be sensitive enough to measure changes in speech output in children with severe and persisting speech difficulties (SPSD). To identify the best ways of doing this, we compared a range of commonly used procedures for perceptual phonological and phonetic analysis of developmental speech difficulties. Data are drawn from four children with SPSD, recorded at 4 years and again at 6 years old performing naming and repetition tasks. Measures of speech output included percentage of whole words correct (PWC), percentage of consonants correct (PCC), proportion of whole-word proximity (PWP), phonological pattern (process) analysis and phonetic inventory analysis. Results indicate that PWC captures change only when identical stimuli are used across time points. PCC is a more robust indicator of change, being less affected by the choice of stimuli. PWP also captures change across time and tasks, while appearing to be more sensitive than PCC to psycholinguistic variables. PCC and PWP are thus both potentially useful tools for evaluating speech outcomes.
    Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics 05/2013; 27(6-7). DOI:10.3109/02699206.2013.790479
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    ABSTRACT: The role of language in exact calculation is the subject of debate. Some behavioral and functional neuroimaging investigations of healthy participants suggest that calculation requires language resources. However, there are also reports of individuals with severe aphasic language impairment who retain calculation ability. One possibility in resolving these discordant findings is that the neural basis of calculation has undergone significant reorganization in aphasic calculators. Using fMRI, we examined brain activations associated with exact addition and subtraction in two patients with severe agrammatic aphasia and retained calculation ability. Behavior and brain activations during two-digit addition and subtraction were compared to those of a group of 11 healthy, age-matched controls. Behavioral results confirmed that both patients retained calculation ability. Imaging findings revealed individual differences in processing, but also a similar activation pattern across patients and controls in bilateral parietal cortices. Patients differed from controls in small areas of increased activation in peri-lesional regions, a shift from left fronto-temporal activation to the contralateral region, and increased activations in bilateral superior parietal regions. Our results suggest that bilateral parietal cortex represents the core of the calculation network and, while healthy controls may recruit language resources to support calculation, these mechanisms are not mandatory in adult cognition.
    Brain and Cognition 05/2013; 82(3). DOI:10.1016/j.bandc.2013.04.012
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract This paper uses conversation analysis to investigate the form and use of iconic gestures by a man with severe Broca-type aphasia in interaction with his speech and language therapist. Deconstructing iconic gestures into the different types of methods used to produce them, the paper analyzes how these gestures can depict certain entities, such as actions or types of people, in ways that may be understandable to the recipient. It is also observed that these iconic gestures can constitute gestural contributions, which not only communicate certain semantic meanings, but also accomplish social actions, such as answering or repairing. The implications of this analysis for our understanding of compensatory behavior in aphasia, and of augmentative and alternative communication in social interaction more generally, are discussed.
    Augmentative and alternative communication (Baltimore, Md.: 1985) 03/2013; 29(1):68-82. DOI:10.3109/07434618.2013.767558
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    ABSTRACT: This case study describes an investigation into the speaking characteristics of a set of male monozygotic (MZ) twins (T1 and T2) and an age- and sex-matched sibling (S). Measures of speech tempo and fundamental frequency (F0) were analysed in the speech samples of a reading passage. Results showed significant between-sibling differences for sentence durations and F0 parameters; however, Euclidean distance (ED) measures revealed the smallest distances between the F0 parameters of the MZ twins. The smallest ED values were also observed between T1 and T2 for word durations, pause durations, all-voiced sample durations, and all the all-voiced sample F0 parameters. Greater similarities were observed across all three siblings for the speech tempo and dynamic F0 parameters.
    Logopedics, phoniatrics, vocology 11/2012; 38(4). DOI:10.3109/14015439.2012.742562
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    ABSTRACT: Very little is known about the use of gesture by children with developmental language disorders (DLDs). This case study of 'Lucy', a child aged 4;10 with a DLD, expands on what is known and in particular focuses on a type of idiosyncratic "rhythmic gesture" (RG) not previously reported. A fine-grained qualitative analysis was carried out of video recordings of Lucy in conversation with the first author. This revealed that Lucy's RG was closely integrated in complex ways with her use of other gesture types, speech rhythm, word juncture, syntax, pragmatics, discourse, visual processing and processing demands generally. Indeed, the only satisfactory way to explain it was as a partial byproduct of such interactions. These findings support the theoretical accounts of gesture which see it as just one component of a multimodal, integrated signalling system (e.g. Goldin-Meadow, S. (2000). Beyond words: The importance of gesture to researchers and learners. Child Development, 71(1), 231-239), and emergentist accounts of communication impairment which regard compensatory adaptation as integral (e.g. Perkins, M. R. (2007). Pragmatic Impairment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.).
    Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics 10/2012; 26(10):882-907. DOI:10.3109/02699206.2012.714048
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    ABSTRACT: This study identifies the outcomes and documents the longitudinal life experiences of adults who attended a specialist residential school for children with pervasive and complex developmental communication impairments. Semistructured interviews were carried out with 26 adult ex-pupils who had attended the school and the parents of 15 of the ex-pupils. Seven key themes were identified from the data, including (a) lack of appropriate support and the impact of this in early childhood, (b) advantages and disadvantages of specialist educational provision compared to mainstream and other provision, (c) changing impact of developmental communication impairments over time, (d) challenging transition away from specialist educational provision, (e) absence of appropriate support for adults with developmental communication impairments, (f) persisting impact of developmental communication impairments on social and emotional functioning in adult life, and (g) differences in perspective between the adult ex-pupils and their parents. Across the adult ex-pupils and their parents, the perceived reported benefits of early intervention, parental support, specialist educational provision, and guidance at times of transitions should inform current service provision for this vulnerable group of individuals and their families.
    Language Speech and Hearing Services in Schools 07/2012; 43(4):521-35. DOI:10.1044/0161-1461(2012/11-0068)
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