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

  • Sinfree Makoni Department of English, University of Cape Town

Abstract

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.

References

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Campbell-Taylor, I. 1984. Dimensions of clinical judgement in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. Ph.D. dissertation. Buffalo, NY: State University of New York.
Crystal, D, 1984. Linguistic encounters with handicap. Oxford: Blackwell.
Ellis, R. 1985. Understanding second language acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Goffman, E. 1961. Asylums. Essays on the social situation of mental patients and other inmates. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.
Ripich, D. & Terrell, B. 1988. Patterns of discourse cohesion and coherence in Alzheimer's disease. Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 53: 8-15.
Sharwood Smith, S. 1994. Second language learning: theoretical foundations. New York: Longman.
Published
1996-04-01