The Aphasiology Archive
University Library System, University of Pittsburgh

The complexities of speaking for another

Purves, Barabara A.
The complexities of speaking for another . Aphasiology, 23(7-8), July, 2009, pages 914-925.


Background: While it is recognised that conversation partners of people with aphasia often speak for them, investigation of “speaking-for” incidents has shown that these comprise a wide range of behaviours, leading Simmons-Mackie, Kingston, and Schulz (2004) to identify a “fine interactive line” (p. 123) between “speaking for” and “speaking instead of”. To date, however, there has been little exploration of these behaviours in the context of everyday family conversation; furthermore, little is known about how family members themselves interpret the actions of speaking for their relative with aphasia.

Aims: The goal of this paper is to describe how the husband of a woman with progressive nonfluent aphasia (PNFA) and their adult children experienced and interpreted his ways of speaking for her.

Methods & Procedures: Findings are drawn from a qualitative case study exploring a family's experiences of progressive aphasia through analyses of their talk. Methodology included a thematic analysis of in-depth interviews conducted with each of six family members and conversation analysis of their everyday conversations together, selected and audio recorded by the participants themselves over a 3-month period.

Outcomes & Results: The husband's “speaking-for” behaviours, which emerged as a significant theme in the interview data from him and all four adult children, were linked to long-standing patterns of interaction but were described as problematic in the context of his wife's aphasia. Conversation analysis revealed that he used three patterns of “speaking-for” behaviours, each with different interactional strategies and consequences.

Conclusions: Discussion highlights the nuances, challenges, and complexities of “speaking for” behaviours when considered in the historical context of relationship.

EPrint Type:Journal (Paginated)
ID Code:1813
Conference:Clinical Aphasiology Conference: Clinical Aphasiology Conference (2008 : 38th : Jackson Hole, WY : May 27 - June 1, 2008)
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
Alternative Locations:
DOI or Unique Handle:10.1080/02687030802514946
Additional Information:Access to the full text is subject to the publisher's access restrictions.