Clare Tarplee, 1962-1999
Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, 2000, 14 (5), 405-406.
Clare Tarplee, lecturer in the Department of Human Communication
Science at University College London, died on 16 November 1999 as a
result of a cerebral haemorrhage, at the age of 36.
Clare gained a
first class degree in English Language at the University of Newcastle,
and twice received the Barabara Strang Memorial Prize for best
performance in language/medieval subjects, in her first and final
years. In 1986 she moved to York and undertook graduate study with John
Local, Paul Drew and Tony Wootton. She soon identified the line of
research that she was to pursue not only through her doctorate but also
the remainder of her all too brief academic career. Through her careful
and detailed analyses of naturally occurring spoken interactions, she
explored how young children can make sense of what adults say to them,
and use this as a basis for developing their own linguistic skills.
Latterly, mainly in collaboration with postgraduate students whose
projects she supervised, she elucidated complex interactions involving
children with various types of communication difficulty, as well as
young normally developing children.
After working at Newcastle as a
lecturer in sociolinguistics for three years, in 1992 she moved to the
National Hospital’s College of Speech Sciences (now the Department of
Human Communication Science, University College London). Here she
taught mainly in the areas of children’s language development, phonetics
and conversation analysis. Together with Ray Wilkinson she organized
the first, very successful, international conference on Conversation
Analysis and Communication Disorders, held at University College London
in 1997. For several years she chaired the department’s research group
in conversation analysis, and from 1998 until her death, coordinated an
ESRC-funded seminar programme on the same topic.
Through her research
Clare made an important contribution to developmental and clinical
linguistics, and through her inspiring teaching she fostered its
application in clinical practice. Clare was much loved and respected as
a lecturer, researcher, colleague and friend, and will be greatly
University College London
Corrin, J., Tarplee, C. and Wells, B., 2001, Interactional linguistics and language
a conversation analytic perspective on emergent syntax. In E.
Couper-Kuhlen and M. Selting (Eds), Studies in Interactional Linguistics
(Amsterdam: John Benjamins).
Radford, J. and Tarplee, C., 2000, The
management of conversational topic by a 10-year old child with pragmatic
difficulties. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 14 (5), 387-403.