This study investigated the relationship between pragmatic ability and two aspects of structural language in conversational language samples from 24 school-age children with and without high-functioning autism (HFA): causal statements and speech disruptions. In contrast to a majority of previous studies, grammatical complexity and mean length of utterance were factored into the analyses, since these are potential confounding variables. The results showed that children with HFA used fewer spontaneous causal statements and fewer filled pauses in conversation compared to children with typical development (TD). There was also a significant and positive relationship between filled pauses and pragmatic ability after controlling for structural language ability. The resultsmay help us understand the conversational patterns of children with HFA better.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Linguistics and Language
- Behavioral Neuroscience