Pragmatics and adult language disorders: Past achievements and future directions

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31 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, the current state of our knowledge of pragmatic disorders in adults with language impairment is assessed. A brief historical background of clinical pragmatics is presented, and the place of adult language pathology within the development of this field is discussed. A comprehensive review is undertaken of pragmatic deficits in adults with language impairments of diverse etiologies. Specifically, pragmatic deficits are examined in adults with left-hemisphere damage, often resulting in aphasia, and in adults with right-hemisphere damage, traumatic brain injury, schizophrenia, and neurodegenerative disorders (principally, Alzheimer's disease). Although many pragmatic phenomena have been examined in these clinical populations, studies have also tended to neglect important areas of pragmatic functioning in adults with these disorders. Several such areas are identified within a wider discussion of how researchers and clinicians can best purs future investigations of pragmatics in adults with language impairment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-110
Number of pages15
JournalSeminars in Speech and Language
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Left-and right-hemisphere damage
  • Pragmatics
  • Schizophrenia
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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