The neuropsychological profile of people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) dementia includes a history of decline in memory and other cognitive domains, including language. While language impairments have been well described in AD dementia, language features of MCI are less well understood. Connected speech and language analysis is the study of an individual’s spoken discourse, usually elicited by a target stimulus, the results of which can facilitate understanding of how language deficits typical of MCI and AD dementia manifest in everyday communication. Among discourse genres, picture description is a constrained task that relies less on episodic memory and more on semantic knowledge and retrieval, within the cognitive demands of a communication context. Understanding the breadth of evidence across the continuum of cognitive decline will help to elucidate the areas of strength and need in terms of using this method as an evaluative tool for both cognitive changes and everyday functional communication.