Item Details

Feedback and common ground in conversational storytelling involving people with Alzheimer’s disease

Issue: Vol 4 No. 2 (2013)

Journal: Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders

Subject Areas: Linguistics

DOI: 10.1558/jircd.v4i2.211


The present article focuses on feedback in storytelling involving people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and how feedback is related to the ways participants establish a common ground (Clark 1996) in interaction. The establishment of common ground is important in all kinds of interaction and becomes an especially intricate process if participants have AD, since the achievement of common ground requires the ability to draw from knowledge and experiences relating to past as well as present events; an ability that is often hampered by the disease. Analyses show that other aspects than the actual content of the conversation are important for the participants – for instance being together, supporting the positive identities both presented in the story and embodied in the socially rewarding activity that they manage to engage in, implying that the participants create and sustain a common ground not so much about the story-layer as of the storytelling activity.

Author: Lars-Christer Hydén, Charlotta Plejert, Christina Samuelsson, Linda Örulv

View Original Web Page

References :

Bakhtin, M. M. (1981). The Dialogic Imagination. Four Essays. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.
Beckett, S. (1954). Waiting for Godot. New York: Grove Press.
Bruner, J. (1986). Actual Minds, Possible Worlds. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Clark, H. H. (1994). Discourse in production. In M. A. Gernsbacher (ed.) Handbook of Psycholinguistics, 985–1021. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Clark, H. H. (1996). Using Language. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Clark, H. H. and Schaefer, E. F. (1987). Collaborating on contributions to conversations. Language and Cognitive Processes 2: 19–41.
Clark, H. H. and Schaefer, E. F. (1989). Contributing to discourse. Cognitive Science 13: 259–294.
Clark, H. H. and Wilkes-Gibbs, D. (1986). Referring as a collaborative process. Cognition 22: 1–39.
Couper-Kuhlen, E. (1999). Coherent voicing: On prosody in conversational reported speech. In W. Bublitz and U. Lenk (eds) Coherence in Spoken and Written Discourse: How to Create It and How to Describe It, 11–32. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Duranti, A. (1986). The audience as co-author: An introduction. Text 6: 239–247.
Garfinkel, H. and Sacks, H. (1970). On formal structures of practical actions. In J. D. McKinney and E. A. Tiryakian (eds) Theoretical Sociology, 337–366. New York: Appleton-Century Crofts.
Goffman, E. (1974). Frame Analysis. An Essay on the Organization of Experience. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Goodwin, C. (1986). Audience diversity, participation and interpretation. Text 6: 283–316.
Goodwin, M H. (1997). Byplay: Negotiating evalutation in storytelling. In G. R. Guy, C. Feagin, D. Schiffrin and J. Baugh (eds) Towards a Social Science of Language: Papers in Honour of William Labov. Volume 2. Social Interaction and Discourse Structures, 77–102. Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins.
Gravano, A., Hirschberg, J. and Benus, S. (2012). Affirmative cue words in task-oriented dialogue. Computational Linguistics 38 (1): 1–39.
Guendozi, J. and Müller, N. (2005). Approaches to Discourse in Dementia. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc. Publishers.
Gunthner, S. (1999). Polyphony and the ‘layering of voices’ in reported dialogues: An analysis of the use of prosodic devices in everyday reported speech. Journal of Pragmatics 31 (5): 685–708.
Hamilton, H. E. (1994). Conversations with an Alzheimer's Patient. An Interactional Sociolinguistic Study. New York: Cambridge University Press. 9780511627774
Hamilton, H. E. (2008). Narrative as snapshot. Glimpses into the past in Alzheimer’s discourse. Narrative Inquiry, 18 (1): 53–82.
Heath, S-B. (1983). Ways with Words. Language, Life, and Work in Communities and Classrooms. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Heritage, J. (1984). Garfinkel and Ethnomethodology. New York: Polity Press.
Heritage, J. and Watson, D. R. (1979). Formulations as conversational objects. In G. Psathas (ed.) Everyday Language: Studies in Ethnomethodology, 123–162. New York: Irvington.
Herman, D. (2009). Basic Elements of Narrative. West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell. http://dx.
Holmes, J. (1998). Narrative structure: Some contrasts between Maori and Pakeha story-telling. Multilingua 17 (1): 25–57.
Holt, E. (1996). Reporting on talk: The use of direct reported speech in conversation. Research on Language and Social Interaction 29 (3): 219–245.
Hutchby, I. and Wooffitt, R. (2008). Conversation Analysis. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Hydén, L-C. and Örulv, L. (2009). Narrative and identity in Alzheimer's disease: A case study. Journal of Aging Studies, 23: 205–214.
Hydén, L-C. and Örulv, L. (2010). Interaction and narrative in dementia. In D. Schiffrin, A. De Fina and A. Nylund (eds) Telling Stories: Language, Narrative, and Social Life, 149–160. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
Labov, W. (1972). Language in the Inner City: Studies in the Black English Vernacular. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Lehtonen, J. and Sajavaara, K. (1985). The silent Finn. In D. Tannen and M. Saville-Troike (eds) Perspectives on Silence, 193–201. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
Local, J. (1996). Conversational phonetics: Some aspects of news receipts in everyday talk. In E. Couper-Kuhlen and M. Selting (eds) Prosody in Conversation. Interactional Studies, 177–230. Cambridge, MA:Cambridge University Press.
Müller, N. and Mok, Z. (2012). Applying systemic functional linguistics to conversations with dementia: The linguistic construction of relationships between participants. Seminars in Speech and Language 33 (1): 5–15.
Norrick, N. R. (1997). Twice-told tales: Collaborative narration of familiar stories. Language in Society 26: 199–220.
Ochs, E., Schegloff, E. and Thompson, S. A. (1996). Interaction and Grammar. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Polanyi, L. (1985). Telling the American Story: A Structural and Cultural Analysis of Conversational Storytelling. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Ramanathan, V. (1994). Interactional differences in Alzheimer’s discourse: An examination of AD speech across two audiences. Language in Society 23 (1): 31–58.
Ramanathan, V. (1995). Narrative well-formedness in Alzheimer’s discourse: An interactional examination across settings. Journal of Pragmatics 23: 395–419.
Sacks, H., Schegloff, E., and Jefferson, G. (1974). A simplest systematics for the organization of turn-taking for conversation. Language 50 (3–4): 696–735. 10.2307/412243
Schegloff, E. A. (2007). Sequence Organization in Interaction: A Primer in Conversation Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 80511791208
Schegloff, E. A., Jefferson, G. and Sacks, H. (1977). The preference for self-correction in the organization of repair in conversation. Language 53: 361–382.
Selting, M. (1996). Prosody as an activity-type distinctive signalling cue in conversation. The case of so-called 'astonished questions' in repair-initiation. In E. Couper-Kuhlen and M. Selting (eds) Prosody in Conversation. Interactional Studies, 231–270. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Small, J. A., Geldart, K. and Gutman, G. (2000). Communication between individuals with dementia and their caregivers during activities of daily living. American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias 15: 291–302. 153331750001500511
Yngve, V. (1970). In getting a word in edgewise. Papers from the Sixth Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society.
Young, K. (1987). Taleworlds and Storyrealms. The Phenomenology of Narrative. Dordrecht: Martinius Nijhoff Publishers.
White, S. (1989). Backchannels across cultures: A study of American and Japanese. Language in Society 2: 59–76.