SLUGS is hosting a talk by Dr. Regina Jokel, an Assistant Professor of Speech-Language Pathology at the U of T and a speech-language pathologist at Baycrest Hospital: "Linguistic autopsy: The mystery of Agatha Christie." It will be taking place on Tuesday, November 24, from 3 to 4 PM in OISE 2198.
This talk will present some highlights from a large-scale longitudinal study of written language based on works of three British writers, Iris Murdoch (who died with Alzheimer's), Agatha Christie (who was suspected of it), and P.D. James (who aged healthily). We will discuss some lexical and syntactic changes in language of Alzheimer’s disease based on complete, fully parsed texts and a large number of measures. Presented results support the hypothesis that Agatha Christie may have suffered from Alzheimer’s while writing her last novels, and that Iris Murdoch exhibited a ‘trough’ of relatively impoverished vocabulary and syntax in the years preceding her dementia.