Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Linguistics

First Advisor

Barbara A. Fox

Second Advisor

Kira Hall

Third Advisor

James A. Cowell

Abstract

This study illustrates some actions autistic twins--Cam and Nick--are able to accomplish in social interaction, by focusing on their voices and practices in naturalistic interaction, and by considering autism as a part of their human experiences, instead of as a defining experience of impairment. First, I look at how Cam and Nick intersubjectively construct their identities through various practices by combining conversation analysis with identity analysis. Then, I investigate Cam and Nick's wide-range of practices for accomplishing specific actions in interaction using conversation analysis. First, I analyze Cam's repertoire of practices for initiating interaction. Second, I analyze how Nick uses discourse markers to engage in successful back-and-forth interaction. I conclude by explaining how this study contributes to autism research, and its significance on the greater academic and social scales. Cam and Nick are people with interests, emotions, skills, and challenges--they are "autistics-as-humans," not "autistics-as-specimens" (Yergeau, 2010).

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