Document Type



University of Wyoming

Publication Date



Speech and Hearing Science | Speech Pathology and Audiology


The present study investigated the nature of conversational discourse data at the point of breakdown in specific neurologically compromised patients. Data were obtained during the observation and video recording of informal conversational situations (i.e., clinical settings or the patient’s natural environment). Three adult patients who had suffered neurological damage, at the site of the basal ganglia were assessed. Due to the inappropriateness of two of the patients, a case study was conducted on the remaining patient. In lieu of formal assessment via standardized instruments and test batteries, conversational discourse, in natural, non-artificial settings, were descriptively analyzed at the point of communication breakdown (e.g., decreased topic maintenance, lack of referents, etc.). Analysis of the patient’s conversational language abilities and deficits revealed short-term memory, referent, and coherence difficulties. The use of this descriptive conversational analysis of the patient’s language abilities and deficits sought to provide a more detailed and complete assessment of the patient’s communicative abilities for future remediation and treatment strategies.


subcortical lesions, language abilities


© 1999 Catherine A. Off