Pragmatic disorders across the life span

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


There is now an extensive empirical literature on the nature and extent of pragmatic disorders in a range of clinical populations. This chapter attempts to organize the findings of this large and growing body of work by examining pragmatic disorders according to four key time periods during the human life span: the developmental period; older childhood and adolescence; early to late adulthood; and advanced adulthood. The clinical disorder included in this wide-ranging survey are specific language impairment, autism spectrum disorders, emotional and behavioural disorders, and intellectual disability, all conditions which have their onset in the developmental period. In older childhood and adolescence, a traumatic brain injury or the development of a brain tumour may place a child at risk of pragmatic disorder. In early to late adulthood, the onset of mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, traumatic brain injury and neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease may all compromise an individual’s pragmatic language skills. In advanced adulthood, cerebrovascular accidents (or strokes) are significant causes of left- and right-hemisphere damage in adults, while several cerebral pathologies are associated with the development of different dementias. The implications of these increasingly common diseases and events for pragmatic language skills are also considered.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy and Psychology
Number of pages35
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NamePerspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy and Psychology
ISSN (Print)2214-3807
ISSN (Electronic)2214-3815


  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Brain tumours
  • Schizophrenia
  • Specific language impairment
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Applied Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Language and Linguistics


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