The Impact of Aphasia on Textual Coherence

Evidence from Two Typologically Different Languages


  • Anna-Maija Korpijaakko-Huuhka University of Tampere
  • Marianne Lind University of Oslo



aphasia, coherence, narrative, text production, cohesion, Norwegian, Finnish


Difficulties in the use of lexico-grammatical resources of one's language may affect the interpretation of texts produced by speakers with aphasia as coherent. Our aim is to explore similarities and potential differences in how the textual coherence is realized by speakers with aphasia in comparison with speakers without aphasia in Finnish and Norwegian. We investigate the thematic flow and the event flow in the texts, by examining reference chains and the use of verbs, respectively, and the use of connectors that link the clauses of the text together. Differences in text production based on the presence or absence of aphasia were found in our data, but no clear cross-linguistic differences. Lexico-grammatical difficulties associated with aphasia lead to missing information about who the characters in the text are, and what types of events they are involved in. Vague or ambiguous forms of reference are also present to a larger extent in the texts by the speakers with aphasia, causing problems for the interpretation of the texts as coherent entities.

Author Biographies

Anna-Maija Korpijaakko-Huuhka, University of Tampere

Anna-Maija Korpijaakko-Huuhka, PhD. in logopedics (speech-language pathology) from the University of Helsinki, Finland, is professor in logopedics at the University of Tampere, Finland. Her research includes neurolinguistic discourse studies, especially language usage of speakers with aphasia. In addition, her interests include speech characteristics of people with anatomical and physiological changes in the oral cavity.

Marianne Lind, University of Oslo

Marianne Lind, in clinical linguistics from the University of Oslo, Norway. Her research includes studies of conversations involving speakers with speech and language disorders (aphasia, stuttering), investigation of oral text production abilities of speakers with aphasia and neurologically healthy speakers and studies of morphological processing in speakers with aphasia.


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How to Cite

Korpijaakko-Huuhka, A.-M., & Lind, M. (2012). The Impact of Aphasia on Textual Coherence: Evidence from Two Typologically Different Languages. Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders, 3(1), 47–70.