International Doctorate for
Experimental Approaches to Language And Brain

  • Rimke Groenewold
    r.groenewold [at]

    Academic / personal website

    In my PhD thesis, the occurrence of direct speech (e.g., Mary said: "Let's go") in language produced by individuals with aphasia and its effects on listener perception were explored. I also investigated the effects of direct and indirect speech (e.g., Mary said that she wanted to go) on discourse comprehension in individuals with aphasia. The principal finding is that direct speech has a positive effect on both language production and language comprehension in Dutch individuals with aphasia.

    Prof. Y.R.M. Bastiaanse (University of Groningen) Dr. Mike Huiskes (University of Groningen) Prof. dr. Lyndsey Nickels (Macquarie University)
    Current position
    I was granted a Rubicon scholarship by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Reserach. With this funding, I will be working as a postdoctoral researcher at the School of Medical & Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia from January 2017 - January 2019.
    Project description
    People with aphasia have difficulty constructing sentences because of grammatical problems. Some people with aphasia are argued to ‘communicate better than they talk’. In order to get their message across, they develop communication strategies, which allow them to exploit resources that are still relatively intact, such as pragmatic, prosodic and non-verbal skills.
    My research focuses on one of these possible strategies, namely the increased use of direct speech constructions (e.g., John said: “Great!”) by aphasic speakers that has been observed in previous studies. To what extent the use of direct speech by aphasic speakers deviates from that by healthy speakers - and therefore whether it can be considered a compensatory device - remains unclear. Where in healthy language direct speech has been studied extensively, in aphasic interaction it has received little attention. My project cross-linguistically (English and Dutch) investigates whether problems with grammar can be compensated by the deviating use of, among other things, pitch, intonation, and gesture accompanying direct speech.

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