Discourse Studies 12 (4):465-500 (2010)

Abstract
Frontotemporal dementia is a young-onset neurodegenerative dementia that primarily affects social behaviors. This paper examines the use of repetitional responses in FTD discourse, finding that patients often use repeats to assert agency or epistemic authority. For example, repetitional responses are often used by patients to exert some autonomy when their interlocutors display a belief about the patients’ lack of knowledge about basic functioning. FTD has been associated with echolalia, the meaningless use of repetition; however, this analysis shows that the use of repetitional responses in FTD discourse can be meaningful and thus suggests that, at least in early stages of the dementia, echolalia is not always an accurate characterization of FTD patients’ use of repetitional responses.
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DOI 10.1177/1461445610370127
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