Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders, Vol 4, No 1 (2013)

Looking to speak: On the temporality of misalignment in interaction involving an augmented communicator using eye-gaze technology

Christopher R Engelke, D. Jeffery Higginbotham
Issued Date: 20 Jun 2013


This study investigates the different temporal orders that manifest in interactions involving a participant using an Augmentative Alternative Communications (AAC) device. Studies examining the use of AAC devices have regularly incorporated a particular understanding of temporality by using time as a measuring device to compare inter- and intra-individual action. In this paper we present an alternative perspective on time-in-interaction by showing how participants attend to time by examining their interactive behavior. Here, time is conceived in terms of how participants experience the duration and unfolding of a particular utterance. Through a close analysis of an interaction between a man with late-stage ALS and his wife, this paper shows how different orientations to time can underpin breakdowns of intersubjectivity. The analysis traces elements of this temporal disconnect to a variety of sources including the normative temporal expectations for the production of utterances through mouth-speech and the functioning of the device itself. The temporal misalignment leads to slippages in the participants’ orientation to the sequential relevance of utterances and utterance parts that leads to misunderstanding.

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DOI: 10.1558/jircd.v4i1.95


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