The construction of cooperative and inferential meaning by children with Asperger syndrome

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Abstract

This study aims to apply the Gricean theory of conversational cooperation to the example of inferential meaning in the oral speech of children with pragmatic deficit. Firstly, the analysis pays attention to the use of tropic inferences and particularized implicatures in conversation. Secondly, it focuses on the degree of maintenance or flouting with regard to conversational maxims. On average, study participants are 11.15 years old and possess a confirmed clinical diagnosis of Asperger syndrome. Results suggest a rare understanding and production of tropic inferences and particularized implicatures in dialogues, as well as the systematic application of the maxim of quality, the generalized non-fulfilment of the maxim of quantity and different degrees of fulfilment according to the remaining maxims.

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