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The Impact of Aphasia on Textual Coherence: Evidence from Two Typologically Different Languages

Issue: Vol 3 No. 1 (2012)

Journal: Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders

Subject Areas: Linguistics

DOI: 10.1558/jircd.v3i1.47


Difficulties in the use of lexico-grammatical resources of one's language may affect the interpretation of texts produced by speakers with aphasia as coherent. Our aim is to explore similarities and potential differences in how the textual coherence is realized by speakers with aphasia in comparison with speakers without aphasia in Finnish and Norwegian. We investigate the thematic flow and the event flow in the texts, by examining reference chains and the use of verbs, respectively, and the use of connectors that link the clauses of the text together. Differences in text production based on the presence or absence of aphasia were found in our data, but no clear cross-linguistic differences. Lexico-grammatical difficulties associated with aphasia lead to missing information about who the characters in the text are, and what types of events they are involved in. Vague or ambiguous forms of reference are also present to a larger extent in the texts by the speakers with aphasia, causing problems for the interpretation of the texts as coherent entities.

Author: Anna-Maija Korpijaakko-Huuhka, Marianne Lind

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