Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders, Vol 2, No 2 (2011)

The impact of contextual, conversational, and affective factors on a child's speech intelligibility

Tobias Alf Kroll, Nicole Müller
Issued Date: 29 Aug 2011


In this study, we discuss how the intelligibility of a 5-year old with disordered articulation changes with contextual and conversational factors in a speech-therapy setting, and with the client’s affective response to these factors. Using Conversation Analysis and Systemic-Functional Linguistics to obtain detailed analyses of the sequential unfolding of the interaction, we show that the client’s efforts to be intelligible or unintelligible vary with the informativity of the client’s productions as they are enabled by the clinician. Variations in the client’s intelligibility function in the same way as conventional conversational contributions, and can be viewed as insights into the client’s understanding of the ongoing interaction. We conclude that there are cases of disordered articulation for which traditional articulation therapy (motor drills and highly structured speech tasks) are contraindicated. Interactional and conversational context should receive more attention in articulation therapy and research into speech sound disorders.

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DOI: 10.1558/jircd.v2i2.293


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