Poster presentation Putting Discourse Particles in Perspective
Poster presentation Putting Discourse Particles in Perspective

Putting discourse particles in context

How people with acquired communication disorders use discourse particles

Dutch discourse particles (e.g. eigenlijk) are frequent and important in conversation. This project addresses the as of yet unanswered question how people with acquired communication disorders (ACD) use these important linguistic elements. In the literature, two views suggest opposing predictions regarding this question. One view predicts that speakers with ACD would use more discourse particles as they are processed automatically. The other view proposes complex pragmatic and interpersonal functions of discourse particles and therefore predicts the opposite pattern. To advance the field, this project will examine and explain how discourse particles are used in Dutch-speaking persons with ACD. Discourse particles are very frequent in Dutch and an unexpected use can have a large impact on the way persons with ACD are perceived or understood by others. I will build a new corpus of spoken language in persons with ACD. Discourse particles will be inventoried in different contexts. Further, I will employ experimental studies to examine discourse particles, complementing and strengthening the evidence from the corpus' observations, and to evaluate the pragmatic consequences of discourse particle (non-)use in persons with ACD on how others perceive them. This project will provide new insights regarding the functions of discourse particles in Dutch-speaking persons with ACD and deliver important insights for clinical practice. As such, this project will contribute to the fundamental understanding of both ACD as well as the pragmatics of discourse particles, and therefore bridge theoretical insights and clinical implications.


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