Analysis of Topic as Illustrated in a Head-Injured and a Normal Adult The purpose of this study was to develop a reliable multidimensional topic analysis that would be sensitive to patterns and problems in topic management. Six conversation and four monologue language samples of a closed-head-injured adult and a matched normal adult were compared. High interjudge reliability was found for all frequently ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1991
Analysis of Topic as Illustrated in a Head-Injured and a Normal Adult
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Michelle Mentis
    Boston University
  • Carol A. Prutting
    University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Requests for reprints should be sent to Michelle Mentis, PhD, Department of Communication Disorders, Boston University, 635 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215.
Article Information
Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1991
Analysis of Topic as Illustrated in a Head-Injured and a Normal Adult
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1991, Vol. 34, 583-595. doi:10.1044/jshr.3403.583
History: Received December 12, 1989 , Accepted August 3, 1990
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1991, Vol. 34, 583-595. doi:10.1044/jshr.3403.583
History: Received December 12, 1989; Accepted August 3, 1990

The purpose of this study was to develop a reliable multidimensional topic analysis that would be sensitive to patterns and problems in topic management. Six conversation and four monologue language samples of a closed-head-injured adult and a matched normal adult were compared. High interjudge reliability was found for all frequently occurring parameters of the analysis. Differences between the two subjects were obtained on a number of the topic introduction and maintenance parameters. The results illustrate the potential of the analysis to reliably identify, quantify, and describe differences between subjects in discourse topic management. The potential of the analysis to provide detailed profiles of topic management and describe the influence of such variables as genre and topic complexity on discourse topic was demonstrated.

Acknowledgments
We would like to express our sincere thanks to Roberta Jackson for her time, patience, and assistance in data collection, to Sandy Thompson for her wise counsel, and to Peggy Black and Robin Cresho for their invaluable help in data analysis. We would also like to express our sincere thanks to Craig Linebaugh, Linda Nicholas, and an anonymous reviewer for their insightful comments and excellent suggestions.
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