LINGUIST List 26.5651

Sat Dec 19 2015

Books: Implicit Meaning Comprehension in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Formisano

Editor for this issue: Sara Couture <>

Date: 16-Dec-2015
From: Chris Humphrey <>
Subject: Implicit Meaning Comprehension in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Formisano
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Title: Implicit Meaning Comprehension in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Published: 2015
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Book URL:

Author: Yhara Formisano
Hardback: ISBN: 9781443871129 Pages: 170 Price: U.K. £ 41.99
Hardback: ISBN: 9781443871129 Pages: 170 Price: U.S. $ 71.95

The book is based upon a PhD thesis focusing on implicit meaning comprehension in people along the spectrum of autistic disorders (ASD). The point of departure of the study was that, though existing research studies agree on a generalized pragmatic impairment in this clinical population even in cases in which all other levels of linguistic competence are spared, the cause of this impairment of pragmatic skills in toto is still unknown. The hypothesis underlying this book is that an explanation for this may be found in the fact that researchers appear to be conducting their work in order to demonstrate that the theory upon which their research is based is the definitive explanation for this phenomenon. Taking a critical stand towards this type of approach, the research presented in this book is grounded upon a solid theoretical basis, but does not seek to demonstrate the superiority of one theoretical hypothesis over another. The first two chapters are theoretical in scope, and serve as a foundation for understanding previous research and, hence, the rationale of the investigation carried out here. From chapter three onwards, the main body of research of this particular study is presented and the results are discussed.

In order to verify the degree of implicit meaning understanding, the participants in this research study were administered a test that included both written items and videos of conversational exchanges containing a specific kind of implicit meaning about which they were asked questions. The videos allowed for the inclusion of all the contextual clues necessary for utterance interpretation and, also, for the analysis of the extent to which the inability to interpret implicit meaning depends on testing modality. The test elaborated for this research differs from those of previous studies mainly because of this feature, which pays due attention to context, thereby allowing for interactions that are as realistic as possible. Moreover, participants were asked to motivate their answers, and this proved fundamental in the data interpretation phase. The results of the study contradict previous research findings insofar as regards the severity of the impairment, in that ASD patients demonstrate an ability, albeit at different levels, to disambiguate sentences and assign a non-literal meaning to utterances.

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics

Written In: English (eng)

See this book announcement on our website:

---------------------------------- Publishing Partner ----------------------------------
Cambridge University Press

----------------------------- Major Supporting Publishers -----------------------------
Akademie Verlag GmbH
Bloomsbury Linguistics (formerly Continuum Linguistics)
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Cascadilla Press
Classiques Garnier
De Gruyter Mouton
Edinburgh University Press
Elsevier Ltd
Equinox Publishing Ltd
European Language Resources Association (ELRA)
Georgetown University Press
John Benjamins
Lincom GmbH
MIT Press
Multilingual Matters
Narr Francke Attempto Verlag GmbH + Co. KG
Oxford University Press
Palgrave Macmillan
Peter Lang AG
Routledge (Taylor and Francis)
University of Toronto Press

--------------------------- Other Supporting Publishers ---------------------------
Association of Editors of the Journal of Portuguese Linguistics
International Pragmatics Assoc.
Linguistic Association of Finland
Morgan & Claypool Publishers
Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
Seoul National University
SIL International Publications
Universitat Jaume I
University of Nebraska Press
Utrecht institute of Linguistics

Page Updated: 19-Dec-2015