|Author(s)||Trini Stickle, Anja Wanner|
|Title||Making Sense of Syntactic Error in Conversations Between Persons with Dementia and Their Non-impaired Co-participants|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, Syntax, Repair, Error, Dementia|
|Book title||Learning from the Talk of Persons with Dementia|
In this chapter, the authors demonstrate how syntactic analysis combines with interactional methods to form a powerful tool in understanding the language produced by persons with dementia. They discuss the relationship between syntactic structure and interactional behavior in conversations. Specifically, they present two cases of persons with dementia exhibiting great syntactic impairment symptomatic of late-stage dementia. To help caregivers, practitioners, and novice researchers gain a better understanding of the linguistic effects of both dementia and co-participant responses, they examine incidences of speaker error in which co-participants respond to impaired syntax as making sense and the participants with dementia are able to employ better communicative language, if only briefly. From these observations, the authors posit that co-participants’ linguistic and interactional choices may allow syntactic and interactional competency to emerge during interactional collaborations and, as such, serve as possible models of (best) communication practices applicable to home, clinic, and research settings.