Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on the English Language in Iraqi Context, January 2020  Pp. 32-61
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/elt2.3

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Pragmatic Deficits in Iraqi Patients with Schizophrenia: A Descriptive Study  

Jinan Jassim Abbass
Department of English
College of Languages
University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq

Sabah S. Mustafa
Department of English
College of Languages
University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq

 

 

 

Abstract:
Patients with schizophrenia often experience impairments in several cognitive domains. One domain of particular interest is pragmatics, i.e., the ability to match language to context. This study aims at (a) investigating the pragmatic abilities of Iraqi patients with schizophrenia on both the production and comprehension level; (b) identifying which Grice’s (1975) maxims do those patients most frequently violate; and (c) determining which of the demographic variables (gender, education, and age) has an influence on both the production and comprehension performance and violations. To this end, thirty patients were required to orally perform six pragmatic tasks using the Assessment of Pragmatic Abilities and Cognitive Substrates (APACS) (Arcara & Bambini, 2016). Results revealed that first, patients’ performance in comprehension is worse than that in production. Secondly, the most frequently violated maxim is that of quality. Thirdly, there were statistically substantial differences among patients on the comprehension level for education and age only, whereas results of violations of Grice’s maxims recorded significant differences for all the three variables. The study concluded that people with schizophrenia might suffer from pragmatic deficits, particularly on the comprehension level, and that the degree of the difficulty of the task assigned along with the three variables could play a vital role in the degree of their performance. The findings of this study may be applied to the development of effective treatment strategies in schizophrenia.
Keywords: APACS, Grice’s maxims, Iraqi patients, pragmatic deficits, schizophrenia

Cite as: Abbass, J. J., & Mustafa, S, S. (2020). Pragmatic Deficits in Iraqi Patients with Schizophrenia: A Descriptive Study. Arab World English JournalSpecial Issue on the English Language in Iraqi Context. 32-61.
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/elt2.3

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Dr. Sabah S. Mustafa is a professor of Linguistics and Translation in the Department of English,
University of Baghdad, College of Languages in which he has been teaching English since 1987.
He has published several articles in the area of Linguistics and Translation. His research interests
are contrastive linguistics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and discourse analysis. He is currently
Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Languages. ORCid: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6504-3560.