On Making a Sandwich: Procedural Discourse in Adults with Right-Hemisphere Damage

  • Louise CummingsEmail author
Part of the Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy & Psychology book series (PEPRPHPS, volume 20)


In a clinical language evaluation, procedural discourse is often afforded less emphasis than either narrative or expository discourse. Yet, the generation of procedural discourse is a highly complex task that demands the integration of a range of cognitive-linguistic skills. The aim of this paper will be to investigate those skills with a view to demonstrating the potential diagnostic significance of procedural discourse in a clinical language evaluation. The context for these remarks will be the study of seven adults with right-hemisphere damage who were studied at two clinical facilities in the United States. These adults were recorded as they attempted to explain to an examiner how they would make a peanut butter and jelly (jam) sandwich. An analysis of the discourse produced by these adults reveals a complex and highly variable profile of skills and deficits. It will be argued that this profile is a consequence of cognitive and linguistic heterogeneity in the RHD population, with language impairment manifesting itself in different ways across a range of clients.


Clinical language evaluation Egocentrism Information management Pragmatics Procedural discourse Right-hemisphere damage Stroke Tangential language Verbosity 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of English, The Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHung Hom, KowloonHong Kong

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