The present study examined metacommunicative interactions of individuals with mild to moderate mental retardation. Participants were 15 adults with mental retardation (MA 3:9∼6:10, CA 21:0∼53:0), 15 adolescents with mental retardation (MA 7:8∼10:8, CA 15:10∼18:2), and 20 children without mental retardation, 10 of whom were 6 years old, and 10, nine years old. After watching a videotape of a Pingu story, participants each communicated the story to 2 listeners, a friend and the experimenter. The effect of the listener's developmental level was analyzed. The results indicated that the syntactic complexity, semantic diversity, and functional aspects of speech of the individuals with mental retardation were responsive to the cognitive and linguistric level of their listener. The participants' attitude at the beginning of an utterance was also examined. The results indicated that individuals with mental retardation used gestures, monitored the listeners' comprehension level, and got the listenders' attention. In summary, the findings of the present study were that these adolescents and adults with mental retardation were more metacommunicative than children without mental retardation.
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