11. Fixed expressions, extenders and metonymy in the speech of people with Alzheimer's disease

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In this chapter we demonstrate how fixed expressions, extenders and metonymy help maintain the appearance of competence for speakers with Alzheimer’s disease. We compare impaired and unimpaired speakers from two different countries (the United States of America and New Zealand) to show that speakers with Alzheimer’s disease use fixed expressions, extenders and metonymy similarly to unimpaired speakers. Initially, speakers with Alzheimer’s disease can retrieve the full range of meanings referenced by the extender ormetonymy. As the disease progresses, extenders and metonymy are still used appropriately, but only the conversational partner is able to retrieve the full set of meanings. The use of fixed expressions, extenders and metonymy helps speakers with Alzheimer’s disease to continue to position themselves as competent interactors and to participate in conversations.


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