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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-5

Gestures and discourse markers: Communicative facilitators in persons with Aphasia

1 Department of Speech-Language Pathology, All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysore, Karnataka, India
2 Student, All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
S P Goswami
Department of Speech-Language Pathology, All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Manasagangothri, Mysore - 570 006, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jisha.JISHA_12_17

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Introduction: Gestures provide a nonverbal channel for communication that is integral and entwined with every aspect of human interaction. The present study aims to highlight the contribution of gestures, discourse markers (DMs), and vocal gestures as communicative facilitators for maintaining the discourse in a person with aphasia (PWA). Methods: Discourse samples of two participants with Broca's aphasia and one control participant were audio-video recorded and transcribed. The communicative facilitators used by these participants were identified, scored, and analyzed from the discourse samples. Results: Results revealed high scores on the use of communicative facilitators among PWAs, using gestures and DMs in ways more than just to convey meaning. Both participants with aphasia differed on their use of verbal communication. They also differed on the quantity of communicative facilitators used to maintain the cohesiveness in discourse. The differences in use of verbal measures could be inferred based on the aphasia quotient obtained on the administration of Western Aphasia Battery-Kannada. These highly individualistic differences in the use of communicative facilitators in the absence of verbal expression are a product of various factors that influence and enhance the communication skills of the PWA; factors that may either be internal or external, with skills that are established before or after the stroke. Conclusion: The results of the present study suggest that PWAs have a significantly good communicative competence than what would be projected on any assessment scale that measures verbal components, and participants were noted to convey comprehensive information during discourse, compensating their poor verbal expression with communicative facilitators.

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