Conversational Control in Nonimpaired Speakers using an Augmentative Communication System

Lynn D. Farrier, Kathryn M. Yorkston, Nola A. Marriner, David R. Beukelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Conversational control, the manner and extent to which an individual directs and restrains communicative interaction, is a dimension which must be considered along with communication rate and accuracy when assessing the successful use of a communication augmentation system. An attempt was made to study two factors which may restrict conversational control of communication augmentation system users: (a) system use which reduces communication rate and delays message delivery and (b) amount of information possessed by the user. Five pairs of nonimpaired adult speakers participated in Direction-Giving and Decision-Making tasks in Speaking and Augmentative Communication System conditions. One member of each pair was randomly designated as subject and the other as communication partner. Both subjects and partners were allowed to communicate with speech and gestures in the Speaking Condition. In the Augmentative Communication System Condition, subjects used an Expanded Keyboard Memo-writer. Control was measured in terms of the quantity of output, patterns of initiation and summoning power (Blank & Franklin, 1980). In the Speaking Condition, the Decision-Making Task allowed more equal opportunity for conversational control, whereas the Direction-Giving Task provided more control for the subjects. When subjects used the communication augmentation system, their control was extremely limited or maintained at the expense of efficiency. Trade-offs between control and efficiency appeared to be primarily related to restrictions on communication rate and timing of message delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-73
Number of pages9
JournalAugmentative and Alternative Communication
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Speech and Hearing


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