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Linguistic Analysis of Effortful Utterances in Spontaneous Conversations Between People with and Without Aphasia: Form, Content, and Use

EasyChair Preprint no. 6619

2 pagesDate: September 16, 2021


Introduction: People with aphasia (PWA) often experience struggle during conversation. When this happens, partners may interrupt the PWA or complete their sentences with guesses. Alternatively, the partner may provide time for the PWA to complete the utterance. Here, we explored the value of a non-time pressured conversational environment where PWA had the opportunity to complete their utterances. We analyzed effortful utterances defined as turns featuring pauses/filled pauses, using Bloom and Lahey’s (1978) “form, content, and use” framework.
Methods: Ten people with minimal/moderate aphasia held two conversations with two different people (usually SLPs) who allowed the PWA time to communicate ideas and to self-correct. 8-12 minute samples were transcribed, and every pause/filled pause of ≥ 2 seconds was located for analysis.

To analyze form, we counted the number of words produced. To analyze content, we coded the semantic information communicated using Renoult et al.’s (2020) categories of semantic content. To analyze language use, we examined the discourse function achieved by each effortful utterance according to Eggins and Slade (1997).

 Results: The data included 313 effortful utterances (mean 3.72 words per utterance). For semantic content, 41.5% of utterances contained autobiographical facts, 20.4% were general knowledge, 9.3% were self-knowledge, and 1.9% were repeated events. For discourse function, 38.9% of utterances were opening moves, 23.3% were continuing moves and 15.9% were reacting/responding moves.

Conclusions: Overall, self-completion of effortful utterances by the PWA resulted in communicatively meaningful information for 95.5% of the data. These results demonstrate that when PWA are provided additional time and an engaged listener, it is possible for them to express their ideas, thereby making an active contribution to conversation.

Keyphrases: aphasia, conversation, interaction, Non-time pressured, self-expression

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Marion Leaman and Brent Archer},
  title = {Linguistic Analysis of Effortful Utterances in Spontaneous Conversations Between People with and Without Aphasia: Form, Content, and Use},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 6619},

  year = {EasyChair, 2021}}
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