Discourse typically refers to units of language that are larger than individual sentences in writing or utterances in spoken language. For example, a story usually consists of more than one sentence, and a conversation or dialogue consists of more than one utterance. Difficulties producing or understanding extended texts are referred to as discourse impairments. When looking at discourse, one considers how the writer or speaker uses units such as sentences or utterances (referred to as texts) to work together to create extended units of meaningful language that make sense in the context they are being produced. One also considers discourse from the listener’s or reader’s perspective with regard to how he or she makes sense of the text.

In the case of people with discourse ...

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