Verbosity, traumatic brain injury, and conversation: a preliminary investigation

Scott Barnes*, Jason Bransby-Bell, Zia Gallagher-Beverley, Janine Mullay, Rebecca McNeil, Christine Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Cognitive-communication disorders resulting from traumatic brain injury may cause speakers to produce excessive verbal output, i.e., to be verbose. There is little evidence on the specific behaviours through which speakers achieve verbosity in conversation. Specifying verbosity-related behaviours can provide an improved basis for diagnosis, treatment, and measuring change in communication over the course of recovery. Aims: This study explores whether people with verbosity caused by traumatic brain injury adopt behaviours that violate the normative organisation of turn-taking in conversation. Methods & Procedures: Using conversation analysis, this study examines 1 hour and 40 minutes of conversations involving two participants with cognitive communication disorders characterised by verbosity following severe traumatic brain injury. Outcomes & Results: Overlapping talk, self-initiated self-repair, parenthetical inserts, and practices for turn continuation are identified as candidate signs of verbosity. There is also evidence that verbose speakers employ practices to manage topical discontinuity caused by verbosity. Conclusions: Verbose behaviour involves a complex interplay between cognitive impairment, communicative activity, and the communicative environment. Clinical measures for verbosity should be developed with reference to empirical findings about typical conversation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
Issue number1
Early online date8 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2023


  • traumatic brain injury
  • cognitive-communication disorder
  • conversation
  • assessment


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