City Research Online

Creating a theoretical framework to underpin discourse assessment and intervention in aphasia

Dipper, L. ORCID: 0000-0002-5918-3898, Marshall, J., Boyle, M. , Hersh, D., Botting, N. & Cruice, M. (2021). Creating a theoretical framework to underpin discourse assessment and intervention in aphasia. Brain Sciences, 11(2), article number 183. doi: 10.3390/brainsci11020183


Discourse (a unit of language longer than a single sentence) is fundamental to everyday communication. People with aphasia (a language impairment occurring most frequently after stroke, or other brain damage) have communication difficulties which lead to less complete, less coherent, and less complex discourse. Although there are multiple reviews of discourse assessment and an emerging evidence base for discourse intervention, there is no unified theoretical framework to underpin this research. Instead, disparate theories are recruited to explain different aspects of discourse impairment; or symptoms are reported without a hypothesis about the cause. What is needed is a theoretical framework that would clarify the specific linguistic skills that create completeness, coherence, and complexity (i.e. richness) in discourse; and illuminate both the processes involved in discourse production and the reasons for breakdown. This paper reports a review and synthesis of the theoretical literature relevant to spoken discourse in aphasia discourse; and we propose a novel theoretical framework which unites these disparate sources. This framework is currently being tested as the foundation for LUNA (Linguistic Underpinnings of Narrative in Aphasia) treatment research. In this paper we outline the novel framework and exemplify how it might be used to guide clinical practice and research. Future collaborative research is needed to progress this framework into a processing model for spoken discourse.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: discourse, narrative, storytelling, connected speech, aphasia, theory
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Language & Communication Science
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of LUNA Framework paper.pdf]
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

Download (787kB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login