Communicative Performance of Mentally Retarded Adults in Four Conversational Settings A sociolinguistic analysis of the communicative performances and social interactions of four mentally retarded adults was conducted. Role relationships were examined along dimensions of dominance-submission and control in various conversational settings. Audiotape recordings were made of each adult’s conversation while engaged in discourse with his speech-language pathologist, peers, parents, and ... Research Article
Research Article  |   March 01, 1978
Communicative Performance of Mentally Retarded Adults in Four Conversational Settings
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jan L. Bedrosian
    University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Carol A. Prutting
    University of California, Santa Barbara
Article Information
Research Article   |   March 01, 1978
Communicative Performance of Mentally Retarded Adults in Four Conversational Settings
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 1978, Vol. 21, 79-95. doi:10.1044/jshr.2101.79
History: Received August 11, 1976 , Accepted June 28, 1977
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 1978, Vol. 21, 79-95. doi:10.1044/jshr.2101.79
History: Received August 11, 1976; Accepted June 28, 1977

A sociolinguistic analysis of the communicative performances and social interactions of four mentally retarded adults was conducted. Role relationships were examined along dimensions of dominance-submission and control in various conversational settings. Audiotape recordings were made of each adult’s conversation while engaged in discourse with his speech-language pathologist, peers, parents, and with a normal young child. Relational communication coding schemes involving the analysis of questions and subsequent responses were applied to the data. Results indicated that the retarded adults, though not always able to hold a dominant position in a conversation, were capable of expressing the same types of control as normal adults. The types of control expressed by each subject varied as a function of the conversational setting. Furthermore, differences existed in the types and frequencies of control expressed across subjects. These findings suggest that a sociolinguistic approach provides important information regarding the mentally retarded adult’s communicative performance.

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