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By Louise Cummings

Many youngsters and adults event major breakdown within the use of language. The ensuing pragmatic issues current a substantial barrier to potent communique. This booklet is the 1st severe exam of the present country of our wisdom of pragmatic issues and gives a complete evaluate of the most suggestions and theories in pragmatics. It examines the entire variety of pragmatic issues that happen in kids and adults and discusses how they're assessed and handled by way of clinicians. Louise Cummings makes an attempt to combine the fields of pragmatics, language pathology and cognitive technological know-how via analyzing the ways that pragmatics could make an invaluable contribution to debates approximately cognitive theories of autism. The reader is inspired to imagine in a serious type approximately how clinicians, experimentalists and theorists care for pragmatic concerns.

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I will examine cognitive pragmatics theory in the present context. Cognitive pragmatics theory (Airenti et al. 1993a, 1993b) seeks to explain the cognitive processes that underlie intentional verbal and nonverbal communication. On the assumption that the same competence is involved in our use of linguistic and extralinguistic communication acts, the proponents of this framework sought to replace the traditional roles of ‘speaker’ and ‘hearer’ with ‘actor’ and ‘partner’, respectively. Central to this theory is the idea that a partner in communication establishes an actor’s communicative intention by identifying the particular behaviour game that an actor wishes him to play.

However, only two autistic children displayed the same pattern of responses using these pronouns as all but four of the twenty-two control children in the study. Autistic children used incorrect case pronouns or proper names for self or other reference. 13 Jordan interprets these findings ‘in the light of significant difficulties in the acquisition of person deixis in autistic children’ (1989: 169). In one of the few other clinical studies to investigate deixis, Varley (1993) examined the use of deictic forms in the conversational speech of fluent and nonfluent aphasic subjects and subjects with right-hemisphere damage.

The first is the question of which behaviours amongst an infant’s early communicative repertoire are to count as pragmatic. The second issue relates to the observation that many pragmatic language skills are still being acquired well into adolescence and after the point Clinical pragmatics 31 at which syntactic and semantic aspects have become well established within a child’s language system. In Chapter 7, I describe a tendency among investigators in clinical pragmatics to identify nonverbal behaviours such as gesture as pragmatic in nature.

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