Advertisement

Contextualism and Echolalia

  • Michal GleitmanEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10257)

Abstract

This paper argues for the need to distinguish more clearly between the presence of a communicative intention (that a speaker is attempting to communicate something) and the content of the speaker’s utterance (what that is that they are trying to communicate), and consider the role of contextual information in the recognition of the former, independently of the latter. The paper uses experimental and clinical evidence from studies on echolalia (a common symptom of autism spectrum disorder, in which a child repeats verbatim other people’s utterances) to demonstrate the possibility of a speaker who utters conventional, supposedly meaningful sentences, in a seemingly automatic and noncommunicative manner. As a result, the listener is forced to rely on the wide context to determine the presence or absence of a communicative intention behind the speaker’s utterance, as a condition for interpreting the content of the utterance.

Keywords

Contextualism Communicative intention Pragmatic interpretation Wide context Echolalia Autism spectrum disorder Language development 

References

  1. Bach, K.: Minding the gap. In: Bianchi, C. (ed.) The Semantics/Pragmatics Distinction, pp. 27–43. CSLI Publications, Stanford (2004)Google Scholar
  2. Dyer, C., Hadden, A.J.: Delayed echolalia in autism: some observations on differences within the term. Child Care Health Dev. 7, 331–345 (1981)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Fay, W.H.: On the basis of autistic echolalia. J. Commun. Disord. 2, 38–47 (1969)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Fay, W.H.: On the echolalia of the blind and of the autistic child. J. Speech Hear. Disord. 38(4), 478–489 (1973)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fay, W.H., Butler, B.V.: Echolalia, IQ, and the developmental dichotomy of speech and language systems. J. Speech Hear. Res. 11, 365–371 (1968)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Howlin, P.: Echolalic and spontaneous phrase speech in autistic children. J. Child Psychol. Psychiatr. 23(3), 281–293 (1982)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Philips, G.M., Dyer, C.: Late onset echolalia in autism and allied disorders. Br. J. Disord. Commun. 12(1), 47–59 (1977)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Prizant, B.M.: Echolalia in autism: assessment and intervention. Semin. Speech Lang. 4(1), 63–77 (1983a)Google Scholar
  9. Prizant, B.M.: Language acquisition and communicative behavior in autism: toward an understanding of the “whole” of it. J. Speech Hear. Disord. 48, 296–307 (1983b)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Prizant, B.M., Duchan, J.F.: The functions of immediate echolalia in autistic children. J. Speech Hear. Disord. 46, 241–249 (1981)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Prizant, B.M., Rydell, P.J.: Analysis of functions of delayed echolalia in autistic children. J. Speech Hear. Res. 27, 183–192 (1984)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Recanati, F.: On defining communicative intentions. Mind Lang. 1(3), 213–242 (1986)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Roberts, J.M.A.: Echolalia and comprehension in autistic children. J. Autism Dev. Disord. 19(2), 271–281 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Rutter, M.: Diagnosis and definition of childhood autism. J. Autism Child. Schizophr. 8(2), 139–161 (1978)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Schuler, A.L.: Echolalia: issues and clinical applications. J. Speech Hear. Disord. 44, 411–434 (1979)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Schuler, A.L., Prizant, B.M.: Echolalia. In: Schopler, E., Mesibov, G. (eds.) Communication Problems in Autism. Plenum Press, New York (2010)Google Scholar
  17. Searle, J.: Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1969)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Sperber, D., Wilson, D.: Relevance. Communication and Cognition, 2nd edn. Basil Blackwell, Oxford (1986)Google Scholar
  19. Stiegler, L.N.: Examining the echolalia literature: where do speech-language pathologists stand? Am. J. Speech-Lang. Pathol. 24, 750–762 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Stribling, P., Rae, J., Dickerson, P., Dautenhahn, K.: “Spelling it out”: the design, delivery, and placement of delayed echolalic utterances by a child with an autistic spectrum disorder. Issues Appl. Linguist. 15(1), 3–32 (2006)Google Scholar
  21. Tannen, D.: Talking Voices. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Wolff, S., Chess, S.: An analysis of the language of fourteen schizophrenic children. J. Child Psychol. Psychiatr. 6, 29–41 (1965)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Polonsky AcademyThe van Leer Jerusalem InstituteJerusalemIsrael

Personalised recommendations