Managing Intersubjectivity in Aphasia

Scott Barnes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Aphasia (an acquired language disorder) can cause significant problems with intersubjectivity (in the sense of people's understanding of each other) during everyday conversation. On occasion, these problems go unresolved. Given that interaction and intersubjectivity are both realized sequentially, unresolved problems with intersubjectivity undermine the sequential bases for subsequent action. This study examines how the conversation partners of people with aphasia move on following unresolved problems with intersubjectivity. It analyzes interactions involving two people with aphasia and seven of their routine conversation partners. Conversation partners were found to move on by (a) contributing to the local course of action interrupted by the problematic talk or (b) contributing to a larger activity. These practices link current talk to uncompromised sequential structures, promoting the reestablishment of intersubjectivity but potentially limiting the agency of people with aphasia. Data are in Australian English.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-150
Number of pages21
JournalResearch on Language and Social Interaction
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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