Covid-19 and language: A case study

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

The emergence of novel SARS-CoV-2 has had devastating consequences for populations in all parts of the world. The virus that causes Covid-19 has resulted in high mortality, particularly among vulnerable individuals. It has also given rise to a condition termed “long Covid.” This is a constellation of often debilitating symptoms that persists for many months after initial infection with SARS-CoV-2. Many adults with long Covid report an array of cognitive-linguistic difficulties that are commonly characterized as “brain fog.” These difficulties compromise daily activities and occupational functioning, and cause considerable psychological distress, with many affected individuals unable to work months after the acute phase of their illness. This case study examines a 61-year-old man who contracted SARS-CoV-2 in the early days of the first wave of the pandemic in the UK. It explores in detail the development of his illness over several months. A detailed analysis of his language is undertaken. It reveals a speaker with intact structural language skills and normal speech production abilities. However, there was an impairment of high-level language skills that affected the informativeness of his discourse. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of the clinical implications of this case.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Language Studies
Volume15
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

Keywords

  • Cognitive-Communication Disorder
  • Covid-19
  • Discourse Production
  • Executive Function
  • Infectious Disease
  • Narrative Discourse
  • Pandemic
  • Pragmatics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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