Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

First Advisor

Suma Devanga, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jan Bedrosian, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Robin Pollens, M.S.


Aphasia, collaborative referencing intervention, discourse analysis, discourse markers

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Discourse Markers (DMs) are communicative tools or resources that people use to organize conversations. The use of DMs among individuals with aphasia has been documented to support their communicative competence (Simmons-Mackie & Damico, 1996). Further research on the use of DMs by individuals with aphasia has been limited. The current study features a secondary analysis using existing data from Devanga (2020), which studied the effects of Collaborative Referencing Intervention (CRI; Hengst et al., 2010) on three participants with chronic aphasia. This study analyzed 18 conversation probes from one participant across baseline, treatment, and maintenance phases with clinician and spouse partners. The frequency and type of DMs used by the participant were recorded. Results indicated an increase in mean frequency of DMs from baseline to treatment in conversations with the clinician, while no clear trend in DM frequency was observed across conversations with the spouse partner. The use of DM types varied across contexts and partners, and the participant was observed to use both traditional and personalized DMs to manage his conversational turns. As a commonly used communicative resource, DMs may facilitate communicative competency in individuals with chronic aphasia. Future research into the use of DMs across aphasia types and contexts is warranted.