Center for Language Acquisition at the Pennsylvania State University

Dialogue and Dementia Workshop

Dialogue and Dementia:   Preserving Personhood Through Better Communication


April 29-May 1, 2011

124 Sparks Building

Penn State University Park


The Center for Language Acquisition sponsored a workshop on how patterns of communication affect interactional responsiveness, cognitive functioning, and identity among Alzheimer's patients.  The workshop featured presentations from prominent scholars in clinical linguistics, applied linguistics, and linguistic anthropology, including:


Dr. Boyd Davis (University of North Carolina-Charlotte)

Exploring characteristics and functions of retained story fragments in talk by persons with probable MCI/early, moderate and later dementia: A corpus-based investigation


Dr. Jacqueline Guendouzi (Southeastern Louisiana University)

The use of formulaic language in conversations with people with dementia


Dr. Heidi Hamilton (Georgetown University)

From support group to theater stage: Communicating experiences with Alzheimer's Disease


Dr. Margaret Maclagan and Dr. Boyd Davis

How long does it take to answer a question? Response times across the range from normal to mild cognitive impairment to dementia


Dr. Lisa Mikesell (University of California–Los Angeles)

Displays versus demonstrations: Exploring notions of agency in the interactions of individuals with Frontotemporal Dementia


Zaneta Mok (University of Louisiana-Lafayette) and Dr. Nicole Muller (UL-Lafayette)

The linguistic construction of interpersonal processes in dementia: An application of Systemic Functional Linguistics


Dr. Charlene Pope (Medical University of South Carolina)

Positioning and membership categorization in the monoracial and interracial interactions of persons with dementia


Dr. Steven Sabat (Georgetown University)

Narrative and discourse analyses reveal the person with dementia as a semiotic subject


Dr. Robert Schrauf (Pennsylvania State University-University Park)

Ethnolinguistic devices for ‘positioning’ the patient with dementia: African American Vernacular English, Mexican Spanish, and Russian



For further information about the workshop, please contact Meredith Doran at


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