Repetitional responses in frontotemporal dementia discourse: Asserting agency or demonstrating confusion?

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Abstract

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a young-onset neurodegenerative dementia that primarily affects social behaviors. This paper examines the use of repetitional responses in FTD discourse, finding that patients often use repeats to assert agency or epistemic authority (i.e. to claim rights to knowledge). For example, repetitional responses are often used by patients to exert some autonomy when their interlocutors display a belief about the patients' lack of knowledge about basic functioning. FTD has been associated with echolalia, the meaningless use of repetition; however, this analysis shows that the use of repetitional responses in FTD discourse can be meaningful and thus suggests that, at least in early stages of the dementia, echolalia is not always an accurate characterization of FTD patients' use of repetitional responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-500
Number of pages36
JournalDiscourse Studies
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 23 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language

Keywords

  • agency
  • discourse
  • echolalia
  • epistemic authority
  • frontotemporal dementia
  • repetition

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