Discourse sampling in the 21st century

Leanne Togher*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    42 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper examines the importance of evaluating discourse in individuals with a neurogenic language disorder. Discourse analysis is acknowledged as an important tool for speech-language pathologists, although it is often not the assessment tool of choice due to its apparent time-consuming nature and the overwhelming number of options available. The wide range of analyses available to clinicians such as the number of T-units and total words produced or Pragmatic Protocol checklists make it difficult to choose assessment measures. Even more difficult is the decision of where to direct treatment efforts. This paper aims to show that there are a number of levels of discourse analysis available to clinicians and that it is possible to sample a number of different genres in a clinical setting. The significance of the communication partner's contribution is discussed, particularly with regard to the limitations of the therapeutic interaction and the need to assess clients with a range of communication partners. The discourse opportunities we make available to people with communication problems will influence what is possible for them. To achieve this, the benefits of a theory of linguistic analysis, namely, Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) [Halliday, M. A. K. (1994). An introduction to functional grammar (2nd ed.). London: Edward Arnold.] will be explored.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)131-150
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of Communication Disorders
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


    • Brain damage
    • Discourse
    • Functional therapy
    • Linguistics
    • Neurogenic communication disorder


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