Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Speech, Language and Hearing Science

First Advisor

Suma Devanga

Second Advisor

Kathryn Hillenbrand

Third Advisor

Sandy Glista


Collaborative referencing tasks have historically been used to study communicative interactions between speakers, and typically involve two participants who collaboratively complete a picture-matching game while being separated by a barrier (Clark & Wilkes-Gibbs, 1986). Research indicates successful collaborative referencing in persons living with aphasia, amnesia, and Alzheimer's disease, with creative display of language (Duff, et. al. 2006, 2013; Hengst, 2003). Aphasia research has indicated that collaborative referencing tasks facilitate successful collaborative referencing and bring about functional communicative changes in the lives of persons living with aphasia (Devanga, 2017; Hengst, Duff & Dettmer, 2010). Although these findings include multi-modal communication within referencing, there is limited research on the role of gestures in collaborative referencing.

The current study analyzes collaborative referencing across 15 sessions in Mr. Clyde, an individual with moderately-severe Wernicke's aphasia who uses gestures/pantomimes and speech combinations for communication. Discourse analysis includes transcription and coding of multimodal communication with a specific focus on gestures. Findings suggest successful referencing that aligns with the collaborative referencing model (Clark & Wilkes-Gibbs, 1986), with gestures facilitating collaboration. By using social-based interventions, such as collaborative referencing intervention, researchers and clinicians could gauge better understanding of gestures and multimodal communication used by persons with Wernicke’s aphasia.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted