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Dementia-compromised speech and interaction

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  1. An on-line research database of impaired and unimpaired older speakers: Research examples from the Carolinas Conversations Collection (CCC) Boyd Davis (UNCC), Margaret Maclagan (UC), Charlene Pope (MUSC) INSIDE THE CCC: HOW IT WORKS AND SOME WAYS TO USE IT EXTENDERS WITH/WITHOUT DEMENTIA: OVER-80s BACKGROUND Examining social contexts for interaction leads to challenging and contextualizing the prevailing deficit orientation and complementing clinical findings. For example, the increase in ‘empty speech’ in moderate/severe dementia is now seen as relating primarily to semantic content: PWD can still interact even when their speech is apparently “empty.” Schiffrin comments (2001:65) “even vocalizations that are themselves semantically empty can provide an option within a set of paradigmatic choices that includes semantically meaningful markers …. Thus, vocalizations that have no inherent meaning at all, and that occur elsewhere for very different reasons … can also provide markers through which to structure discourse” In our data from CCC and NSV, just under half of the 92 speakers 80 and over with or without dementia use extenders: Extenders are phrases such as things like that that invite the listener to complete the set of items the speaker is talking about and thus establish commonality between speaker and listener. Initially, speakers with dementia use extenders in the same way as those without dementia, but as the disease progresses, they can no longer retrieve all the items within the set. The extenders, however, facilitate continued conversation as dementia worsens. Impaired: PWD, age 94, is going to a program: On Medicare and stuff like that and they gonna talk about things, you know, what you can get and what you can't get and all that kind of stuff. Unimpaired: age 85, about his father on probation at the grocery: my daddy couldn't buy any tobacco, no sugar, no kind of candy or nothing like that-. CCC: --is a password-protected digital corpus sponsored by NIH/NLM --provides access to time-stamped audio/video recordings linked to transcripts and analytic tools (Praat, Celex,Syntax searches), managed online by LaBB-CAT --includes two cohorts of speakers: (1) men and women 65+ with chronic conditions who have two conversational interviews, one with young clinicians, and one with community partners of their own age and ethnicity; (2) men and women 65+ with cognitive impairment, usually Alzheimer’s, who have one to ten conversations over time, with researchers and volunteers. Research examples: computational analysis discriminating between older narrators with/without cognitive impairment (Habash 2012), and work on perceived fluency via pauses, extenders and repeated story-chunks (Maclagan et al 2008 Davis et al 2010; 2013 a, b) FULL ACCESS RESULTS OF DETAILED SEARCH WORKING ON INTERFACE WITH ELAN TIME ALIGNMENT Dementia-compromised speech and interaction Interpersonal pragmatics / interactional sociolinguistics and cognitive impairment: Learning about what is retained and manipulated by persons with dementia (PWD) may help understand listener expectations about speaker competencies For PWD in institutional residencies, those institutions lower expectations for production and comprehension. Residents may be cared for, but are not expected to be coherent or fluent talkers (Davis & Pope 2011). Perceived fluency affects the interaction by the unimpaired conversation partner: see extenders. One feature of perceived narrative/small stories and conversational fluency: pauses Pauses are measured automatically in LaBB-CAT As dementia increases, topic maintenance and management is more difficult. In addition to buying time for location of key elements, PWD also use pauses for social interaction as part of a repertoire of compensatory language behaviors. . INTRODUCING THE CCC XxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxXxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. YyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyYyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. COMPUTATIONAL ANALYSIS: FINDING NEW BASELINES Research is urgently needed among older and oldest–old persons, for whom communication is crucial, but where spoken data from a range of racial, ethnic and linguistic groups is often unavailable or inaccessible. Baselines for usage can be derived from electronic corpora, as illustrated by Habash (2012), who reviewed differences between impaired speakers in the CCC and unimpaired partners, and also compared unimpaired speakers with Switchboard speakers. Explorations such as this expand knowledge of competence and fluency. BIBLIOGRAPHY Gain access through submitting IRB approval from your home/alllied institution and a brief proposal; Agree to terms and conditions for your own publications, and we will send you an individual login/pw. Start searching by age, gender, race/ethnicity, condition – this shot shows sample conditions Davis B, Maclagan M (2010).Formulaicity, pauses and fillers in Alzheimer’s discourse: gluing relationships as impairment increases. In Fillers and placeholders in discourse andgrammar, eds. Amiridze N, Davis B, Maclagan M. NY: Benjamins Davis B, Maclagan M (2013/4a in press). Talking with Maureen: Pauses, extenders, and formulaic language in small stories and canonical narratives by a woman with dementia. In R. Schrauf and N Mueller, eds. Dialogue and dementia: Cognitive and communicative engagement. NY: Psychology Press Davis B, Maclagan M, Shenk D. (2013/4 in press). Exploring questions and answers between residents and caregivers. For Hamilton, H & W Chou, eds. The Routledge handbook of language and health communication. NY: Routledge Davis B, Pope C (2010). Institutionalized ghosting: policy contexts and language use in erasing the person with Alzheimer’s. Language Policy, 9. 29-44. Maclagan M, Davis B, Lunsford R.(2008). Fixed expressions, extenders and metonymy in the speech of people with Alzheimer’s Disease. Phraseology: an interdisciplinary perspective, eds.S. Granger & F. Meunier. NY: Benjamins Schiffrin D. (2001). Discourse markers. In Schiffrin D, Tannen D, Hamilton H, eds. The handbook of discourse analysis. NY: Blackwell. Habash A (2012) Language analysis of speakers with dementia of the Alzheimer’s type. MS Capstone paper, UNC Wilmington, http://csbapp.uncw.edu/data/mscsis/annalspaper.aspx?v=6&i=1&p=11