“Did I have chicken for lunch?”

Recalling What Just Happened
  • Heidi E. Hamilton


In this chapter, we explore key discursive patterns that underlie interactions that contain evidence of problems with memory about the recent past. Toward this end, we first situate the examination of these difficulties within ‘episodic memory’ (Tulving, Episodic and semantic memory. In E. Tulving & W. Donaldson (Eds.), Organization of memory. Oxford: Academic, 1972; Kesney and Hunsacker, Behavioral Brain Research, 215(2), 299–309, 2010). We then characterize resourceful strategies used by some individuals with dementia to figure out how to answer questions by conversational partners that have uncovered a memory gap, followed by descriptions of repetitive language used by individuals with dementia in situations where they appear to have forgotten what they had just said or what they had just asked. We then focus on strategies used by conversational partners in the face of these stark memory problems, as they dismiss the need to recall the memory in question, build on the instance of forgetting, or change the topic abruptly.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heidi E. Hamilton
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsGeorgetown UniversityWashington, DCUSA

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