Alzheimer Discourse: Some Sociolinguistic Dimensions

By Via Ramanathan | Go to book overview

4
Narrative and Interactive Illformedness in Alzheimer Talk

Although narration moves inescapably backward in its concern with the understanding of the past-in-the-present, the view of development that derives from it can retain a focus on the forward movement that is rendered in the texts provided. Thus perhaps, paradoxically, it is out of retrospection that a project, an approximation toward desired ends, can be revealed. The shape that emerges out of the past extends itself into the future. It is this temporal dialogue which can lay the foundation for a new conceptualization of life-span developmental knowledge. -- Mark Freeman ( 1984)

The previous chapter discussed ways in which Tina's talk at home was extended and meaningful enough to allow stanza segmentation. We also examined how her ability to produce wellformed talk is partially a result of particular kinds, as well as specific positioning, of audience moves that keeps the interaction relatively smooth and on track. In this chapter, I call attention to some interactional features that inhibit Tina's efforts to successfully engage in recall at the day-care center. As with the previous chapter, I also point out how the positioning of other reminding turns at certain points in the interactions renders both patient talk and interactions discontinuous and illformed.


TINA'S INABILITY TO NARRATE AT THE DAY-CARE CENTER

Evident in the transcripts as well as in the segments to be presented is that much of Tina's talk at the day-care center remains at the level of conversa-

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