Pragmatic Language Characteristics of Individuals with Asperger Syndrome: Systematic Literature Review and Meta-analysis

Sadeq Al Yaari1, Muhammad Alkhunayn2, Fatehi Eissa3

1.Dr. Sc. in Language and Cognitive Neurosciences Independent Postdoc Researcher in Psychoneurolinguistics Email:

2.Assistant Prof. in Linguistics. Dept. of English, College of Languages and Translation, Al Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Email: 3.Ph.D. in Statistics. Dept. of Statistics, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad, India. Email:


The purpose of this Systematic Literature Review and Meta-analysis ((SLR & Meta-analysis) was to examine the differences between Asperger syndrome (AS) individuals and typically developing and achieving individuals (TD) regarding language competence and how are these differences related to AS individuals’ age and the significance such differences add to our knowledge of understanding their language performance as issues that are still underdiagnosed and ill-treated entities.

The study followed SLR & Meta-analysis protocol and was armed with data of 456 AS subjects and controls (231 and 225, respectively) abstracted from 14 studies that have been collected from different electronic bibliographic databases including web of science, Scopus, EMBASE, Cochrane library, PubMed, PsycInfo and google scholar along with unpublished literature. Outlined results show deterioration in language competence of AS subjects in comparison to TD controls. Such deterioration impairs conversational implicature more than it does to conventional maxims of AS individuals’ pragmatic language and has no relationship with their age. Results also show that difference in intelligence feature of the mental reality in the language competence becomes smaller with increasing age, and that difference in representational content feature becomes larger. These findings help experts in the field not only predict pragmatic language impairments in AS individuals but also enable AS individuals themselves to decode and/or interpret speech inputs; therefore, perceive the world around them and interact with its community members. Outcomes should be considered to lay out a path for further exploration of genetics, etiology, and response to treatment of all these premises that is currently unsearched in AS individuals.

Keywords: Pragmatic Language Characteristics, Language Competence, Mental Faculty, Mental Reality, Features, Language Performance, Pragmatics, Conventional Maxims, Conversational Implicature, Asperger Syndrome, Systematic Literature Review, Meta-analysis


During the past century, grown body of research on Asperger syndrome (AS) has emerged (Eisenmajer, et al., 1996), suggesting that understanding pragmatic language characteristics of individuals with AS may lead to understand how, when and why these characteristics are impaired. Psychoneurolinguists believe that understanding what AS individuals “know” may help explain what they “do” and how they “behave” and more importantly why, which enable them solve these individuals’ problems of behavioral responses (Bankier, et al., 1999; Ehlers, et al., 1999), reactions (Shtayermman, 2011 a), behavioral manifestations (Ghanizadeh, 2011) and audiovisual speech perception and eye gaze behavior (Saalasti, et al., 2011) along with social interactions and communicative disturbances (Ellis, et al., 1994).

Volume 6.No.1(2022): April – (Humanities Session)

ISSN 2661-2666 (Online) International Scientific Journal Monte (ISJM)
ISSN 2661-264X (Print)

DOI : 10.33807/monte.20222502


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