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To initiate repair or not? Coping with difficulties in the talk of adults with intellectual disabilities

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journal contribution
posted on 24.10.2019, 10:16 by Charles AntakiCharles Antaki, Deborah Chinn, Chris Walton, WML Finlay, Joe Sempik
How do health and social care professionals deal with undecipherable talk produced by adults with intellectual disabilities (ID)? Some of their practices are familiar from the other-initiated repair canon. But some practices seem designed for, or at least responsive to, the needs of the institutional task at hand, rather than those of difficult-to-understand conversational partners. One such practice is to reduce the likelihood of the person with ID issuing any but the least repair-likely utterances, or indeed having to speak at all. If they do produce a repairable turn, then, as foreshadowed by Barnes and Ferguson’s (2015) work on conversations with people with aphasia, their interlocutors may overlook its deficiencies, respond only minimally, simply pass up taking a turn, or deal with it discreetly with an embedded repair. When the interlocutor does call for a repair, they will tend to offer candidate understandings built from comparatively flimsy evidence in the ID speaker's utterance. Open-class repair initiators are reserved for utterances with the least evidence to go on, and the greatest projection of a response from the interlocutor. We reflect on what this tells us about the dilemma facing those who support people with intellectual disabilities.

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • Communication and Media

Published in

Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics

Volume

34

Issue

10-11

Pages

954 - 976

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics on 11 November 2019, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/02699206.2019.1680734.

Acceptance date

11/10/2019

Publication date

2019-11-11

Copyright date

2019

ISSN

0269-9206

eISSN

1464-5076

Language

en

Depositor

Prof Charles Antaki Deposit date: 11 October 2019