Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders, Vol 1, No 2 (2010)

Dysarthria in conversation: An analysis of information structure and thematic structure

Alana Rae Mantie-Kozlowski
Issued Date: 25 Jan 2011


This study investigates how two interlocutors, one with acquired dysarthria, manipulated their language structure to facilitate the creation of texts. Two conventions of systemic functional linguistics are used: information structure and thematic structure. The lexicogrammatical choices and patterns in the text are described with special attention to how the partners collaborated, sometimes in a non-standard manner (Armstrong, 2005) to establish mutual understanding in the face of a considerably impaired speech signal. Natural emerging strategies to manage communication breakdowns are outlined. Some individuals with progressively debilitating diseases may not have the physical and/or cognitive resources to rehabilitate the subsystems of speech production. Investigations of everyday conversational practices involving individuals with speech disorders such as dysarthria can reveal additional options for promoting communicative success and participation.

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DOI: 10.1558/jircd.v1i2.237


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