The management of conversational topic by a ten year old child with pragmatic difficulties
Source: Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, Volume 14, Number 5, 1 August 2000 , pp. 387-403(17)
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
Abstract:A case study is presented of a 10-year-old child described as having 'pragmatic difficulties', for the initiation and management of conversational topic. Video-recorded naturally-occurring conversations between the child and his peers at school are subjected to a detailed sequential analysis, drawing on some of the insights gained into the collaborative management of topic by researchers working in the tradition of conversation analysis (Button and Casey 1984, 1985). We find that our subject uses some helpful devices to generate and manage conversational topics but has difficulty collaborating with his conversational partners. We consider some of the different ways in which social-cognitive abilities are implicated in alternative courses of action available for the initiation and management of topic, and find that our subject's behaviours support the suggestion of Bishop (1997) that a difficulty in the development of social cognition underlies the interactional problems experienced by children with pragmatic language impairment. Consideration is given to ways in which the child's conversational behaviours are subject to influence from the styles of talk he is exposed to in interactions with adults in the language unit setting in which he spends much of his time.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2000-08-01