Content Words and Their Conceptualization: A Corpus-Based Study of Conversations of Children with Autism


  • Huma Batool Assistant Professor, Dept. of English, Air University Islamabad
  • Sajjad Rasool MPhil Linguistics Scholar, Dept. of English, Air University Islamabad
  • Wasima Shehzad Professor, Dept. of English, Air University Islamabad


Autism, onceptualization, content words, corpus linguistics, embodiment


This paper is the corpus-based exploration of the nature of content words used by children with autism in a conversation. It aims to investigate what does the frequency of content words inform about the conceptualization of events and what differences can be seen in the conceptualization of children with severe and mild autism. The theory of embodiment is adopted to analyze the content words related to the conversations regarding birthday and school events. A spoken corpus of the conversation of thirteen children with autism was built for the investigation. The results show the tendency of these children to use nouns and adjectives as compared to verbs in their conversations. Moreover, children with severe autism gave less linguistics responses as compared to children with mild autism. Their distinct sensory-perceptual experiences seem to impact the use of the content words and their conceptualization.