The Communicative Impact of Non-Fluent Aphasia on the Dialog Behavior of Linguistically Unimpaired Partners

  • Ria De Bleser


This paper reports on the specific linguistic and communicative strategies cooperative non-aphasic partners spontaneously employ in negotiation dialogs with non-fluent aphasics (Broca’s and recovered global aphasics).

The following hypotheses were examined:
  1. 1.

    The non-fluent aphasic’s dialog behaviour is deviant. His communicative disorder depends mainly on the disturbed expressive language abilities, which make it difficult for him to assert himself. As a consequence, his strategies of verbal negotiation are affected.

  2. 2.

    The dialog behaviour of non-aphasic patients changes when they communicate with aphasic partners.

  3. 3.

    The communicative adaption of non-aphasic patients is apparent in the dialog strategies used . In comparison with dialog strategies used between two non-aphasic partners, the non-aphasic patient uses more dialog remediation strategies of a specifically linguistic nature when his partner is aphasic.


Hypothesis 2 was confirmed, since a significant difference was found between the non-aphasics’ use of dialog categories when communicating with other non-aphasics and in their dialogss with aphasic patients.

They used certain language specific categories exclusively in their dialogs with aphasics. These were the language categories which had a clear repair function in the dialog and could provide direct feedback.

One mixed category was also used significantly more often by non-aphasics in the constellation with an aphasic patient. In this category belong units which ask whether the partner’s intention has been understood correctly. Thus, indirect feedback is provided. This confirms and refines hypothesis 3.

There was no evidence to support hypothesis 1 that the aphasic patient is disturbed in his dialog behaviour. This can certainly be explained by the cooperative attitude of the non-aphasic partner, not only as shown in his use of feedback catego­ries, but also in the reduced syntactic complexity of his utterances. Thus, the ‘normality’ of the aphasic’s dialog behaviour is only apparent, as it hinges on the naively remedial attitude of the non-aphasic dialog partner. Such cooperative attitude of the partner does not necessarily reflect the real life situation of aphasic patients.


Role Type Aphasic Patient Language Category Mixed Category Cooperative Attitude 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ria De Bleser
    • 1
  1. 1.Depatment of NeurologyRWTH AachenWest Germany

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