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Clinical Linguistics ——A Multidisciplinary Theme

时间:2012-05-04 04:26来源:未知 作者:山东大学 点击:
Clinical Linguistics A Multidisciplinary Theme Lalitha Raja. R Lecturer CAS in Linguistics Annamalai University Introduction Linguistics being a science, which studies the structure of languages, has its full potentiality over each and ever
  

Clinical Linguistics ——A Multidisciplinary Theme
Lalitha Raja. R
Lecturer
CAS in Linguistics
Annamalai University


Introduction

 

    Linguistics being a science, which studies the structure of
languages, has its full potentiality over each and every human being's
life. It is like; life without language for a human is life less. In recent
years, some remarkable growth has taken place in our knowledge and
management of language and speech disorders in children and adults.
Medical disciplines have been working a lot for past two decades to
identify, assess and to remediate these problems. Also theoretical
developments in linguistics and its applications have been utilized for the
study of speech and language disorders, by clinicians during past
decade. This applied study of linguistics with medical discipline is useful
for the diagnosis and treatment of language and speech disorders. This
study is termed as clinical linguistics. According to Crystal (1986)
Clinical Linguistics is the application of the theories, methods, and
findings of linguistics (including Phonetics) to the study of those
situations where all language handicaps are diagnosed and treated?

    This is otherwise also called as Remedial Linguistics?as it is used
in non- medical settings like educational and psychological context to
diagnose and to remediate a problem of a student in educational and a
client in psychological settings. So, clinical linguistics attempts to use
the linguistics techniques to solve the problems in the domains like
assessment of language and speech disorders, language teaching andspeech therapy. It also applies linguistic theories to study the language disabilities in all its forms.


Various Disorders Dealt
    Clinical Linguistics deals with all types of speech and language
disorders. According to etiology of each disorder it is classified into
language and speech disorders.

 

Language Disorders
    Language disorder is a disorder that is found in the development or
use of the knowledge of language. It shows the breakdown in the
development of language abilities on the usual developmental schedule.
    The disorders that come under language disorders are Autism,
Learning Disability, Mental Retardation, Specific Language Impairment,
Developmental Phonological Disorders Aphasia, Schizophrenia,
Dysarthria, Dyspraxia, etc.


Speech Disorders
    Speech disorders are the disorders, in which the speech
mechanisms like soft palate, tongue, lips, etc are the locus of delay. They
can be further classified into;


Articulation disorders:
    They are the disorders that occur due to the problem that arise in
the movement of various structures of speech mechanism such as soft
palate, tongue, lips, etc.


Fluency disorders:

    The effortless and continuous speech with the rapid speed is called
fluency. So if problem persists in the effort, continuity and speed, then it
is said to be a fluency disorder. Stuttering and cluttering are two types of
fluency disorders.

 

Voice disorders:
    If the pitch, loudness or quality of the voice differs from that of the
normal / standard voice due to abnormalities in the vocal mechanisms is
said to be a disordered voice. The two types of voice disorders are
phonation and resonance.
    These language and speech disorders can exist together or by
themselves.

Role of Linguists in Clinical linguistics:
    Clinical Linguistics deals only with speech and language disorders
which has only linguistic symptoms. So, apart from speech- language
pathologist and Clinicians, there is a major role for a linguist to be
played in the Clarifying, Describing, Diagnosing, Assessing and providing
Intervention to the disorders.
    Concerning clarification; the linguist has to clarify the areas of
confusion found in the traditional metalanguage and classification of the
disabilities. The terminologies given for each disorder are often
confusing, overlapping and also misinterpreted. For example, Learning
Disability?is now widely used as an umbrella term for the listening,
reading, writing and mathematical disorders. But, Louise Cummings
(2008) in his book Clinical Linguistics?uses this term for Mental Retardation or handicap, where the cognitive ability will be subnormal. But this subnormal cognitive ability is not seen in the children who have listening, reading, writing and mathematical disorders. Consecutively,
according to Onita Nakra (1996) and Prathiba Karanth (2003), children
with learning disability have normal/above normal intellectual capability.
Thus these confusions can be resolved by involving the linguists for
providing systematic linguistic descriptions.

    On the subject of the descriptions of disorders, there is a great
need for descriptive case studies of the language of disordered people.
Also normative models of language development are must to describe the
delay found in child language acquisition, which can be provided only by
a linguist.
    Next, in the part of diagnosis and assessment there is a need to
classify the linguistic behavior and to list out the deviant linguistic
features of disordered population. Widely the disorders are classified in
terms of medical terminologies. When medical cause is found it is easy to
put them under such terms. But if a person has a language delay who
does not have any medical explanation, then clinicians try to transfer
their burden to speech language pathologist without any explanation.
But if these disorders are classified under linguistic levels, such as
phonetic, phonological, grammatical, semantic, pragmatic, etc. then it is
better to list out the deviant linguistic features and understand their
problems and then to go for appropriate intervention strategies.

    Regarding intervention, the linguist's role is to help the clinician in
planning the linguistic interventions if needed and to monitor the
outcome of intervention over a period of time. It is the role a linguist to
investigate the language behavior of the intervention provider, teaching

materials used, and the environment of intervention provided, as it also
can modify the out come.

 

Concluding remarks:
    So, when a patient comes to a clinic with a complaint of speech or
language disorder, usual thing that happen is finding the
medical/clinical cause. Usually physicians whether the cause is found or
not, will divert the patients to speech-clinicians for further assessment
and remediation. Here Speech-clinician/speech-language pathologist can
only identify the language problem, but may not know whether
psychological and sociological background persists or not for that
problem. Without this knowledge the intervention provided may lower
down the problem but will not eradicate it. So speech-language
pathologist has to coordinately work with a psychologist and linguist for
the assessment and to provide Remedial measures. If the problem is
found in a school going kid then the intervention provider may be an
educationist who must also be coordinated in the above said team. This
holistic approach should be followed in this discipline. Otherwise the
problem may be uncovered. So, as Clinical linguistics includes people
from multidiscipline, it can be represented as multidisciplinary theme.


References:
Crystal, D. (1981), Aspects of clinical linguistic theory and practice.
     Proceedings of the 1980 Annual Conference of the Australian
    Association of Speech and Hearing, Perth, 1-25

Crystal, D. (1986), Pasado, presente y futuro de la linguistica clinica. In
     M. Montfort (ed), Investigaccion y logopedia (Madrid: Ciencias de la

     Educacion Preescolar y Especial), III Logopedics Congess, Madrid,
     1986, 34-42. (The past, present and future of clinical linguistics)

Crystal, D. (2001), Clinical linguistics. In M. Aronoff & J. Rees-Miller, The
     Blackwell Handbook of Linguistics (Oxford: Blackwell), 673-82
Cummings, L. (2008), Clinical Linguistics, Edinburgh: Edinburgh
     University Press Ltd.
Nakra, O. (1996), Children and Learning Difficulties, New Delhi: Allied
     Publishers Ltd.
Karanth, P. (2003), Introduction. In P. Karanth & J. Rozario, (Eds),
     Learning Disabilities in India: Willing the Mind to Learn (pp.17-29).
     New Delhi: Sage Publications India Pvt Ltd.

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