Chapter published in:Language and Social Interaction at Home and School
Edited by Letizia Caronia
[Dialogue Studies 32] 2021
► pp. 121–152
Talking to children with atypical development
A study on the practice of asking ‘Are you going to’ questions
Interactional studies of children with language impairments and their habitual interlocutors are key to understanding reciprocal adaptations in communication. The chapter is based on video recorded observations of three families at home, each with a child with Down Syndrome of approximately 6 years of age. The analysis focuses on the parental practice of asking the children ‘Are you going to’ questions. The results document two main uses: ‘request for information’ and ‘action solicit’. The analysis suggests that using the question as action solicit may hamper children’s comprehension and undermine their agency. A comparison with other action solicits and relative frequencies of use suggests family styles that either privilege a Requester’s Perspective or the Child’s Perspective. It is argued that, by privileging the Child’s Perspective, parents limit the imposition on children but subtract potential for normative and epistemic socialisation, as well as opportunities for the child to display their collaboration.
Keywords: conversation analysis, atypical interaction, children with down syndrome, action formation, ‘are you going to’ questions, action solicits, directives
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