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Clinical Pragmatics

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  • Many children and adults experience significant breakdown in the use of language. The resulting pragmatic disorders present a considerable barrier to effective communication. This book is the first critical examination of the current state of our knowledge of pragmatic disorders and provides a comprehensive overview of the main concepts and theories in pragmatics. It examines the full range of pragmatic disorders that occur in children and adults and discusses how they are assessed and treated by clinicians. Louise Cummings attempts to integrate the fields of pragmatics, language pathology and cognitive science by examining the ways in which pragmatics can make a useful contribution to debates about cognitive theories of autism. The reader is encouraged to think in a critical fashion about how clinicians, experimentalists and theorists deal with pragmatic issues.

    • Examines pragmatic disorders in both children and adults – developmental and acquired disorders
    • Provides a comprehensive overview of the main concepts and theories in pragmatics
    • Medical and other terminology is clarified in extensive notes at the end of each chapter
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… an invaluable contribution to the research field of language pathology … a long awaited trait d'union between pragmatic theories and cognitive theories that account for pragmatic impairments in language disordered subjects … Clinical Pragmatics is an inspiring book, an essential tool for every investigator interested in pragmatic disorders, both developmental and acquired, and their assessment and treatment. Cummings brilliantly filled a gap that had long been overlooked. Few linguists have dealt with this topic in such an insightful and thorough way as she does with this book, which surely stands out as a significant contribution to 'the emergence of a new, mature phase in the development of clinical pragmatics'.' Journal of Pragmatics

    'I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and it was a pleasure to review. The volume offers an in-depth and comprehensive review of the field of pragmatics as it applies to communication difficulties … Louise Cummings ably achieves an extremely insightful combination of theory and practice with a generally cognitive perspective … this book is unique in its overview of the area, and it is well worth reading … It will hopefully inform research and practice for many years to come.' Child Language Teaching and Therapy

    'Louise Cummings's Clinical Pragmatics is a valuable resource … The book is exceptionally strong on describing the state of the art, both in terms of the nature and causes of various pragmatic impairments, and the currently available treatments. … Nonetheless, she is right that a more global perspective is needed, and this important book lays the groundwork for it.' Journal of Linguistics

    '… Cummings's Clinical Pragmatics has a most important role in advancing the status of clinical pragmatics in terms of both clinical research and clinical practice.' International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders

    '[This] book presents the reader with a wide, panoramic view of the very young field of clinical pragmatics. For instance, the opening chapter presents ten items under the subsection title 'Concepts and theories in pragmatics'. In the subsequent chapters, various mental disorders, both developmental and acquired, are discussed alongside useful insights into how knowledge gathered in the field of pragmatics might help understand what is going on and how best to address the problem clinically … This book should attend to the needs of a newcomer to the field, but also has the potential to prod other researchers to divert their thoughts in directions hitherto not contemplated.' E-Language

    'I heavily applaud this volume, because its immense erudition promises to change our view of clinical pragmatics and of pragmatics and modularity of mind. Cummings notes that one of the most important flaws in clinical pragmatics research is the lack of a theoretical gravitation centre. Her efforts are clearly expended in this direction, the building of a theoretical perspective which can stimulate the growth of interesting research papers on the various facets of clinical pragmatics … I recommend this book to all those who are interested in pragmatics, because it is not possible to dissociate theoretical pragmatics from what modularity of mind and clinical pragmatics have to tell us about pragmatic phenomena. This is a most stimulating book, which will be studied with great interest by all readers.' Australian Journal of Linguistics

    'This thought-provoking book constitutes a valuable and extremely insightful work covering the wealth of developments, uncertainties and controversies in a rapidly expanding research field of clinical pragmatics. It exhaustively surveys developmental and acquired pragmatic disorders and successfully scrutinizes the current state of knowledge giving careful attention to a variety of approaches and methods in a mostly transparent and readable manner, which makes it an excellent introduction and a must-read for all interested in clinical pragmatics … Clinical Pragmatics is a highly inspiring accomplishment with great potential for [raising] awareness and triggering further theoretical explorations and empirical investigations in the field.' Joanna Nijakowska, Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2009
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511537257
    • availability: Adobe Reader ebooks available from eBooks.com
  • Table of Contents

    1. Clinical pragmatics: theory and practice
    2. A survey of developmental pragmatic disorders
    3. A survey of acquired pragmatic disorders
    4. The contribution of pragmatics to cognitive theories of autism
    5. The cognitive substrates of acquired pragmatic disorders
    6. The assessment and treatment of pragmatic disorders
    7. A critical evaluation of pragmatic assessment and treatment techniques.

  • Author

    Louise Cummings, Nottingham Trent University
    Louise Cummings is Reader in Linguistics in the School of Arts and Humanities at Nottingham Trent University.

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