Conversations with an Alzheimer’s patient: an interactional sociolinguistic perspective by Heide Hamilton

  • Sinfree Makoni Department of English, University of Cape Town


Hamilton seeks to examine the role of language in dementia of the Alzheimer type.Hamilton makes two main contributions in her book, which are separate but interconnected. On the one hand, by rigorously studying the conversations of a patient suffering from Alzheimers disease (AD), she demonstrates the contributions which language studies can make towards increasing our understanding of dementia in general and AD in particular. At the same time, through a detailed analysis of the conversations, she demonstrates how by coupling rigour with compassion, linguistics can be humanistic without necessarily forfeiting its status as a science. These two interconnected achievements are eloquently captured.


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