Thursday, 16 May 2013

Clinical Linguistics: State of the Art

In an article to be published in July, Louise Cummings examines how the study of language disorders can contribute to theoretical debates in linguistics.
 
Linguistic theories have always played an important role in understanding language disorders. For its part, the study of language disorders can contribute significant insights to theoretical debates in linguistics and other disciplines. This paper aims to highlight these mutually beneficial exchanges by examining four topics in clinical linguistics which address theoretical issues. These topics concern developments at the language levels of phonology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics. Optimality theory and relevance theory have been applied to the study of phonological disorders and pragmatic disorders, respectively. Language impairments in genetic disorders such as Williams syndrome are at the centre of debates in linguistics and developmental psychology about the relationship between language and cognition. Semantic impairments in adults with acquired neurological disorders have enabled investigators to construct and test models of semantic memory. The theoretical significance of each of these topics will be considered. These topics are not exhaustive of theoretical developments in clinical linguistics. However, they illustrate for the reader the type of theoretical inquiry which is integral to this linguistic discipline. 
Louise Cummings, Clinical Linguistic: State of the Art,  International Journal of Language Studies, Volume 7, Issue 3, July 2013.

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