Aphasia and topic talk: a case study
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 00:46 authored by Scott Edward Barnes
This study uses Conversation Analysis (CA) to examine the organisation of topic talk in interactions involving a person with aphasia (Valerie). Approximately three and a half hours of video recordings involving Valerie were collected and analysed for this study. The most outstanding aggregate feature of Valerie's topic talk was an asymmetry of speakership. It was found that Valerie's routine conversation partners spoke more, and for longer periods. This study identifies the motivations for this asymmetry, and the mechanisms of its accomplishment. In doing so, it also analyses how Valerie used particular linguistic forms to implement discrete actions during topic talk. Valerie's conduct as both a primary speaker and a recipient during topic talk is described. Initiating and progressing topic talk were found to be recurrently difficult for her. Valerie had more success with topic talk initiations that projected primary speakership for her conversation partners. These topic talk initiations frequently involved turn-initial and. It is argued that and-prefaced turns offered Valerie a number of interactional advantages in general, and for initiating topic talk in particular. Valerie's activities as a recipient during topic talk are then discussed. One highly recurrent response - that's right - was selected for analysis, and the following functional variants were identified: confirming; mutual stance; recognition; compliment; and restored intersubjectivity. Composite responses involving that's right are also examined. This study contributes to conversation-analytic research by describing largely unexamined ways of using and and that's right during everyday talk-in-interaction. It contributes to aphasiology by offering new information about the effects of aphasia on the organisation of topic talk, and by helping expand the communicative activities and linguistic resources that are considered relevant for investigating and treating aphasia.