Article published in:Language and Social Life: Functional perspectives
Edited by Kristina Love
[Australian Review of Applied Linguistics. Series S 19] 2005
► pp. 87–102
Grammatical complexity in letters written by people with acquired brain impairment
This study investigated written language in the form of personal and formal letters written by 10 people who sustained a stroke and 10 people who sustained traumatic brain injury, and compared their performance with 15 non brain-damaged people. In order to explore the writing skills of these individuals from a socio-cultural perspective, a functional linguistic theory, Systemic Functional Linguistics, was adopted as the framework for analysis. Features of grammatical complexity were examined to ascertain the differential demands of the two text types on the writers’ language resources, and the impact of stroke and traumatic brain injury on participants’ writing abilities. Results of the analysis revealed patterns of both strength and deficit in the groups with acquired brain impairment. Variation as a feature of ‘disordered’ and ‘normal’ performance is highlighted and clinical implications discussed.
Published online: 01 January 2005