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Language in normal and pathological aging processes according to the Neurolinguistic approach

Grant number: 15/15515-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2015
Effective date (End): August 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics
Principal Investigator:Rosana Do Carmo Novaes Pinto
Grantee:Larissa Picinato Mazuchelli
Host Institution: Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem (IEL). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The aging process, often described as the "destiny to which we are all doomed", is a complex phenomenon that has been investigated by various fields such as Psychology, Anthropology and Gerontology. In linguistic studies, however, the most relevant work on the subject is Preti's 1991, whose reflection is based on a limited corpus of utterances of people over 80 who are speakers of standard formal Portuguese. Considering the increasing number of the aging population in Brazil and in the world, as well as the relative absence of linguistic reflection on the utterances of these individuals, this project aims to expand the linguistic scope of analysis to both a group of seniors in normal aging process and of individuals affected by diseases that alter the linguistic and cognitive functioning, considering different ages, social classes and literacy levels. It is our interest, thus, to achieve two main objectives: (i) to characterize the utterances of elderly subjects focusing on the formal aspects of language constructions and their pragmatic-discursive contexts; and (ii) to analyze aspects of the discourse on aging in order to better understand both the myths (new or otherwise) that circulate in society and in the media, and the image that older people have of themselves and that runs through interactions and dialogical processes. To achieve these goals, semi-structured interviews will be conducted with elderly volunteers (with or without a diagnosis of language disorder) who are either from the Group III of Center for People with Aphasia (CCA - IEL/UNICAMP) or from a private non-profit institution of Campinas, SP. The interviews will be video-taped and transcribed discoursively, as oriented by the NURC Project. To evaluate the discourses that circulate on the elderly and on aging, texts conveyed by the media over the past five years will also be analyzed. We hope, with this work, to contribute to discussions on language and aging. In addition, we believe that our reflection, based on the theoretical and methodological principles of discoursive-enunciative Neurolinguistics, will help us better understand how the occurrences of some frequent phenomena in the language of the elderly (e.g., circumlocutions, digressions, hesitations) could be considered as evidence (see Ginzburg, 1989) of language alteration, thus contributing to the studies on the normal-pathological relationship.

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
MAZUCHELLI, Larissa Picinato. Estereótipos e Representações: discursos sobre e no envelhecimento. 2019. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem Campinas, SP.

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