Tangential speech

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Tangential speech is a communication disorder in which the train of thought of the speaker wanders and shows a lack of focus, never returning to the initial topic of the conversation.[1] It is less severe than Logorrhea and may be associated with the middle stage in dementia.[1] It is, however, more severe than circumstantial speech in which the speaker wanders, but eventually returns to the topic.[2]

Some adults with right hemisphere brain damage may exhibit behavior that includes tangential speech.[3] Those who exhibit these behaviors may also have related symptoms such as seemingly inappropriate or self-centered social responses, and a deterioration in pragmatic abilities (including appropriate eye contact as well as topic maintenance).[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Forensic Aspects of Communication Sciences and Disorders by Dennis C. Tanner 2003 ISBN 1-930056-31-1 page 289
  2. ^ Crash Course: Psychiatry by Julius Bourke, Matthew Castle, Alasdair D. Cameron 2008 ISBN 0-7234-3476-X page 255
  3. ^ Introduction to Neurogenic Communication Disorders by Robert H. Brookshire 1997 ISBN 0-323-04531-6 page 393
  4. ^ Perspectives on Treatment for Communication Deficits Associated With Right Hemisphere Brain Damage by Margaret Lehman Blake 2007 ISSN 10580360 page 333