The ear craves the familiar: Pragmatic repetition in left and right cerebral damage

Rachel Wolf, Diana Van Lancker Sidtis, John J. Sidtis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Repetition occurs plentifully in normal conversation, but empirical studies of the pragmatic use of repetition are rare and pragmatic repetition, defined as verbal repetition in conversational use, in disordered language has not been systematically investigated. Applying a method of analysis that was piloted utilising normal discourse, discourse samples from persons with left and right brain damaged were examined for incidence and charcteristics of repetition.Aims: The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine verbal repetition following cerebral hemispheric damage. From previous studies of hemispheric influences on communicative competence, it was hypothesised that unilateral damage would affect verbal repetition differently. Following earlier results for hemispheric effects on proportion of formulaic expressions, overall more verbal repetition was predicted in persons with left hemisphere damage than those with right hemisphere damage or healthy speakers. Furthermore, previous studies led to a prediction of more repetition of formulaic (than novel, propositional) expressions following left hemisphere damage than the other two study groups. We explored whether characteristics and functions of repetition, developed as part of a new method for quantifying repetition in spontaneous speech, differed systematically between groups.Methods & Procedures: Transcripts of discourse by persons diagnosed with a single cerebral vascular accident and from age- and education-comparable healthy control (HC) participants were analysed. A method was developed for quantifying verbal repetition and identifying five factors, specifically localness (immediate, delayed, or distant), preservation of the original target (identical or altered), source (self or other), grammatical unit of speech (word, phrase, clause, or sentence), and phrase type (formulaic or novel), and three functions (maintaining form, enhancing content, and socialisation).Outcomes & Results: Results revealed significantly higher use of repetition by left hemisphere (28%) than right hemisphere-damaged (RHD) participants (19%) or the HC group (18%). The proportion of formulaic expression repeated by the left hemisphere group was significantly higher (57%) than the right hemisphere group (30%). Fewer repetitions were used by the left hemisphere group (25%) for the function of enhancing the content of talk as compared to the HC group (40%), whereas the RHD group used the least repetition for socialisation (15%).Conclusions: Pragmatic repetition is to be distinguished from rote repetition (on command) in aphasia diagnosis and from pathological repetition behaviours, including perseveration, following brain damage. The method described here allows for the measurement of pragmatic repetition and its characteristics in normal and disordered language. The findings support previous results for pragmatic and formulaic language behaviours in these populations. This study provides new information on the roles of repetition in normal conversation and on the impact of neurological damage on this function. Identification and measurement of repetition will inform perspectives on evaluation and rehabilitation of conversational speech.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)596-615
Number of pages20
JournalAphasiology
Volume28
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Fingerprint

Ear
pragmatics
damages
Language
Socialization
Group
Socialisation
human being
discourse
conversation
Control Groups
Aphasia
brain damage
Brain
communicative competence
language behavior
speech disorder
Mental Competency
Accidents
study group

Keywords

  • Discourse
  • Formulaic language
  • Left hemisphere cerebral damage
  • Pragmatics
  • Repetition
  • Right hemisphere cerebral damage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • LPN and LVN
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

The ear craves the familiar : Pragmatic repetition in left and right cerebral damage. / Wolf, Rachel; Sidtis, Diana Van Lancker; Sidtis, John J.

In: Aphasiology, Vol. 28, No. 5, 2014, p. 596-615.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wolf, Rachel ; Sidtis, Diana Van Lancker ; Sidtis, John J. / The ear craves the familiar : Pragmatic repetition in left and right cerebral damage. In: Aphasiology. 2014 ; Vol. 28, No. 5. pp. 596-615.
@article{a4594dfb52f746eabe1ebacb265f5f7f,
title = "The ear craves the familiar: Pragmatic repetition in left and right cerebral damage",
abstract = "Background: Repetition occurs plentifully in normal conversation, but empirical studies of the pragmatic use of repetition are rare and pragmatic repetition, defined as verbal repetition in conversational use, in disordered language has not been systematically investigated. Applying a method of analysis that was piloted utilising normal discourse, discourse samples from persons with left and right brain damaged were examined for incidence and charcteristics of repetition.Aims: The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine verbal repetition following cerebral hemispheric damage. From previous studies of hemispheric influences on communicative competence, it was hypothesised that unilateral damage would affect verbal repetition differently. Following earlier results for hemispheric effects on proportion of formulaic expressions, overall more verbal repetition was predicted in persons with left hemisphere damage than those with right hemisphere damage or healthy speakers. Furthermore, previous studies led to a prediction of more repetition of formulaic (than novel, propositional) expressions following left hemisphere damage than the other two study groups. We explored whether characteristics and functions of repetition, developed as part of a new method for quantifying repetition in spontaneous speech, differed systematically between groups.Methods & Procedures: Transcripts of discourse by persons diagnosed with a single cerebral vascular accident and from age- and education-comparable healthy control (HC) participants were analysed. A method was developed for quantifying verbal repetition and identifying five factors, specifically localness (immediate, delayed, or distant), preservation of the original target (identical or altered), source (self or other), grammatical unit of speech (word, phrase, clause, or sentence), and phrase type (formulaic or novel), and three functions (maintaining form, enhancing content, and socialisation).Outcomes & Results: Results revealed significantly higher use of repetition by left hemisphere (28{\%}) than right hemisphere-damaged (RHD) participants (19{\%}) or the HC group (18{\%}). The proportion of formulaic expression repeated by the left hemisphere group was significantly higher (57{\%}) than the right hemisphere group (30{\%}). Fewer repetitions were used by the left hemisphere group (25{\%}) for the function of enhancing the content of talk as compared to the HC group (40{\%}), whereas the RHD group used the least repetition for socialisation (15{\%}).Conclusions: Pragmatic repetition is to be distinguished from rote repetition (on command) in aphasia diagnosis and from pathological repetition behaviours, including perseveration, following brain damage. The method described here allows for the measurement of pragmatic repetition and its characteristics in normal and disordered language. The findings support previous results for pragmatic and formulaic language behaviours in these populations. This study provides new information on the roles of repetition in normal conversation and on the impact of neurological damage on this function. Identification and measurement of repetition will inform perspectives on evaluation and rehabilitation of conversational speech.",
keywords = "Discourse, Formulaic language, Left hemisphere cerebral damage, Pragmatics, Repetition, Right hemisphere cerebral damage",
author = "Rachel Wolf and Sidtis, {Diana Van Lancker} and Sidtis, {John J.}",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.1080/02687038.2014.886324",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "28",
pages = "596--615",
journal = "Aphasiology",
issn = "0268-7038",
publisher = "Psychology Press Ltd",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The ear craves the familiar

T2 - Pragmatic repetition in left and right cerebral damage

AU - Wolf, Rachel

AU - Sidtis, Diana Van Lancker

AU - Sidtis, John J.

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Background: Repetition occurs plentifully in normal conversation, but empirical studies of the pragmatic use of repetition are rare and pragmatic repetition, defined as verbal repetition in conversational use, in disordered language has not been systematically investigated. Applying a method of analysis that was piloted utilising normal discourse, discourse samples from persons with left and right brain damaged were examined for incidence and charcteristics of repetition.Aims: The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine verbal repetition following cerebral hemispheric damage. From previous studies of hemispheric influences on communicative competence, it was hypothesised that unilateral damage would affect verbal repetition differently. Following earlier results for hemispheric effects on proportion of formulaic expressions, overall more verbal repetition was predicted in persons with left hemisphere damage than those with right hemisphere damage or healthy speakers. Furthermore, previous studies led to a prediction of more repetition of formulaic (than novel, propositional) expressions following left hemisphere damage than the other two study groups. We explored whether characteristics and functions of repetition, developed as part of a new method for quantifying repetition in spontaneous speech, differed systematically between groups.Methods & Procedures: Transcripts of discourse by persons diagnosed with a single cerebral vascular accident and from age- and education-comparable healthy control (HC) participants were analysed. A method was developed for quantifying verbal repetition and identifying five factors, specifically localness (immediate, delayed, or distant), preservation of the original target (identical or altered), source (self or other), grammatical unit of speech (word, phrase, clause, or sentence), and phrase type (formulaic or novel), and three functions (maintaining form, enhancing content, and socialisation).Outcomes & Results: Results revealed significantly higher use of repetition by left hemisphere (28%) than right hemisphere-damaged (RHD) participants (19%) or the HC group (18%). The proportion of formulaic expression repeated by the left hemisphere group was significantly higher (57%) than the right hemisphere group (30%). Fewer repetitions were used by the left hemisphere group (25%) for the function of enhancing the content of talk as compared to the HC group (40%), whereas the RHD group used the least repetition for socialisation (15%).Conclusions: Pragmatic repetition is to be distinguished from rote repetition (on command) in aphasia diagnosis and from pathological repetition behaviours, including perseveration, following brain damage. The method described here allows for the measurement of pragmatic repetition and its characteristics in normal and disordered language. The findings support previous results for pragmatic and formulaic language behaviours in these populations. This study provides new information on the roles of repetition in normal conversation and on the impact of neurological damage on this function. Identification and measurement of repetition will inform perspectives on evaluation and rehabilitation of conversational speech.

AB - Background: Repetition occurs plentifully in normal conversation, but empirical studies of the pragmatic use of repetition are rare and pragmatic repetition, defined as verbal repetition in conversational use, in disordered language has not been systematically investigated. Applying a method of analysis that was piloted utilising normal discourse, discourse samples from persons with left and right brain damaged were examined for incidence and charcteristics of repetition.Aims: The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine verbal repetition following cerebral hemispheric damage. From previous studies of hemispheric influences on communicative competence, it was hypothesised that unilateral damage would affect verbal repetition differently. Following earlier results for hemispheric effects on proportion of formulaic expressions, overall more verbal repetition was predicted in persons with left hemisphere damage than those with right hemisphere damage or healthy speakers. Furthermore, previous studies led to a prediction of more repetition of formulaic (than novel, propositional) expressions following left hemisphere damage than the other two study groups. We explored whether characteristics and functions of repetition, developed as part of a new method for quantifying repetition in spontaneous speech, differed systematically between groups.Methods & Procedures: Transcripts of discourse by persons diagnosed with a single cerebral vascular accident and from age- and education-comparable healthy control (HC) participants were analysed. A method was developed for quantifying verbal repetition and identifying five factors, specifically localness (immediate, delayed, or distant), preservation of the original target (identical or altered), source (self or other), grammatical unit of speech (word, phrase, clause, or sentence), and phrase type (formulaic or novel), and three functions (maintaining form, enhancing content, and socialisation).Outcomes & Results: Results revealed significantly higher use of repetition by left hemisphere (28%) than right hemisphere-damaged (RHD) participants (19%) or the HC group (18%). The proportion of formulaic expression repeated by the left hemisphere group was significantly higher (57%) than the right hemisphere group (30%). Fewer repetitions were used by the left hemisphere group (25%) for the function of enhancing the content of talk as compared to the HC group (40%), whereas the RHD group used the least repetition for socialisation (15%).Conclusions: Pragmatic repetition is to be distinguished from rote repetition (on command) in aphasia diagnosis and from pathological repetition behaviours, including perseveration, following brain damage. The method described here allows for the measurement of pragmatic repetition and its characteristics in normal and disordered language. The findings support previous results for pragmatic and formulaic language behaviours in these populations. This study provides new information on the roles of repetition in normal conversation and on the impact of neurological damage on this function. Identification and measurement of repetition will inform perspectives on evaluation and rehabilitation of conversational speech.

KW - Discourse

KW - Formulaic language

KW - Left hemisphere cerebral damage

KW - Pragmatics

KW - Repetition

KW - Right hemisphere cerebral damage

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84896546100&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84896546100&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/02687038.2014.886324

DO - 10.1080/02687038.2014.886324

M3 - Article

VL - 28

SP - 596

EP - 615

JO - Aphasiology

JF - Aphasiology

SN - 0268-7038

IS - 5

ER -