Relevance, interest, affect and flow: mapping out concepts

  • Gemma Williams (Presenter)

Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk


Relevance theorists are well-versed in the role of mutual cognitive environments in ostensive-inferential communication. In my recently completed doctoral research, I investigated the role that faulty assumptions about what is mutually manifest might play in the breakdowns in mutual understanding between autistic and non-autistic people, otherwise known as the ‘double empathy problem’ (Milton, 2012). This talk introduces the theoretical background of my research and describes how the analysis of recorded, naturalistic conversations involving autistic and non-autistic interlocutors highlighted the potential importance of concepts such as flow, rapport and affect, and interest to a relevance theoretic account of utterance interpretation and social communication. Finally, this talk explores what these concepts might have in common and asks how, technically, they might relate to the construct of ‘relevance’?

Period24 Feb 2021
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • relevance
  • affect
  • relevance theory
  • flow
  • interest
  • monotropism
  • attention
  • cognitive systems
  • Autism
  • communication
  • linguistics