Diana Van Lancker Sidtis, a professor in Steinhardt’s Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, was the keynote speaker at the annual membership meeting of the Society for Aphasia Research and Treatment (Gesellschaft für Aphasieforschung und –behandlung) inMünster, Germany. Van Lancker Sidtis’ address, presented in German, was titled, ‘Neurologische Perspektiven formelhafter Sprache’ (‘Neurological Perspectives on Formulaic Language’).
“Formulaic language consisting of conversational and idiomatic expressions, such as ‘have a nice day!’ or “that takes the cake!’ plays a significant role in everyday speech, but is little understood in communicative disorders,” Van Lancker Sidtis said.
Van Lancker Sidtis noted that in some forms of brain damage, use of formulaic expressions is abnormally increased, while in others, such usage is impoverished. “Our findings are leading to a better understanding of how language is used in normal communication and to a more naturalistic evaluation and treatment in language disorders,” she said.