We wrote this book because we thought a description of the work we do could be helpful for people who want to investigate and understand discourse in clinical contexts. In modelling comprehensive discourse analyses and showing how such analyses may be systematically related to aspects of neurocognition, we hope to have illustrated the usefulness of taking a unifying approach to investigating natural language behaviour, and particularly extended discourse, in relation to neurocognition. Our practice of hybridizing techniques from functional and formal linguistic models, from conversational analysis, ethnomethodology, situational linguistics and pragmatics, as well as from structuralist and semiotic discourse models, artificial intelligence and neuropsychology and bundling them together in order to account for all the different aspects of language that potentially contribute to discourse patterns is driven by the need for comprehensive accounts that are beyond the scope of individual frameworks or discourse models (that we know). We have suggested ways in which the resultant hybrid methodology for clinical discourse analysis can be combined with neuropsychological and neuroimaging techniques and adapted to different situations and cultures. While we have been most concerned to address the need for comprehensive analyses, we have also shown that the amount of detail included in analyses can be adjusted according to the scope and purposes of particular investigations.
We have further suggested that clinical discourse analysis has at least the following potential applications.