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ERIC Number: EJ1221149
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1368-2822
Open-Class Repair Initiations in Conversations Involving Middle-Aged Hearing Aid Users with Mild to Moderate Loss
Laakso, Minna; Salmenlinna, Inkeri; Aaltonen, Tarja; Koskela, Inka; Ruusuvuori, Johanna
International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, v54 n4 p620-633 Jul-Aug 2019
Background: To manage conversational breakdowns, individuals with hearing loss (HL) often have to request their interlocutors to repeat or clarify. Aims: To examine how middle-aged hearing aid (HA) users manage conversational breakdowns by using open-class repair initiations (e.g., questions such as "sorry," "what" and "huh"), and whether their use of repair initiations differs from their normally hearing interlocutors. Methods & Procedures: Eighteen 45-64-year-old adults with acquired mild to moderate HL participated in the study. The participants were videotaped in everyday interactions at their homes and workplaces and in clinical encounters with hearing health professionals. Interactions were transcribed and open-class repair initiations of participants with HL and their interlocutors were identified using conversation analysis. The frequencies of initiations were analyzed statistically between the groups, and the contexts and structure of repair sequences dealing with communication breakdown were analyzed. Outcomes & Results: Before acquiring HA the participants with HL reported intense use of open-class repair initiation. After HAs were acquired, there was no statistically significant difference in the frequency of open-class repair initiations between HA users and their interlocutors. The most common means for open-class repair initiation in the data was interrogative word "mitä" ('what'). Vocalization "hä" ('huh'), apologetic expression "anteeksi" ('sorry') and clausal initiations (e.g., 'what did you say'/'I didn't hear') occurred less often. Open-class repair initiations emerged in contexts where they typically occur in conversation, such as topical shifts, overlapping talk and action, background noise, and disagreements. When used, open-class repair initiations most often led to repetition by the interlocutor, which immediately repaired the conversational breakdown. Long clarification sequences with multiple repair initiations did not occur. Conclusions & Implications: Participants with mild to moderate HL using hearing amplification initiate open-class repair similarly to their normally hearing conversational partners when the frequency, types, contexts and structure of repair are considered. The findings diminish the stigma related to HL, HAs and the use of open-class repair. The findings suggest that HA amplifies hearing successfully in everyday conversation when the level of HL is mild to moderate. However, the evidence for the benefit of HAs remains indirect.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A