The Interactional Work of Repeated Talk between a Teacher and a Child with Autism
Keywords:Conversation Analysis, repetition, echolalia, autism, repair
Repeating something that another speaker has just said is an important resource in everyday interaction. For example, repetition can be used to acknowledge or to repair prior talk. Although repetitions produced by individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have been extensively researched, only a few studies have examined in detail how these individuals respond to repetitions produced by another speaker. The present report examines a naturally occurring dyadic conversation between a teacher and a 10-year-old girl with autism, video-recorded in a school in Finland. Conversation Analysis (CA) is used to analyse sequences of talk in which the child responds to repetitions produced by her teacher. We show how the child orients to the timing and prosodic features of the repetitions and responds selectively to either acknowledge or repair the teacher’s talk. We discuss how CA can contribute to a better understanding of the use of repeated talk in autism.
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