Speech & Language Therapy Information

Category Archives: Human Communication 101

Silences in Conversation

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Before taking a look at silences in conversation, let us first recap what we have covered so far. We have seen that conversations appear to be made up of paired utterances of the type, greeting – greeting, question – answer, and so on. These so-called adjacency pairs are typically: adjacent produced by different speakers ordered […]

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Attributable Silence

ca101 attributable silence header

The third type of silence we will identify is the selected next speaker’s attributable silence subsequent to the application of Rule 1. Consider the following. 1 Tony:  so what do you think then John? 2        (4.2) 3        so what do you think then John? 4        (3.0) 5 John:  er::: In this sequence Tony begins […]

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Lapses in Conversation

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Non-application of turn-taking rules Whereas gaps can be seen to be delays in the application of turn allocation rules (Rule 2 and Rule 3), lapses in conversations result from the non-application of the rules. Consider the following conversation involving three people. 1 Steven:    hello Simon 2 Simon:     hello 3            (5.3) 4 Steven:    so (..) […]

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Gaps in Conversation

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Delay in applying turn-taking rules Silence in conversation is differentially assigned according to the application or non-application of the turn allocation rules outlined above. So, for example, gaps in conversations occur prior to the application of either Rule 2 (next speaker self-selects) or Rule 3 (current speaker may continue). Consider the following. 1 Graeme:  seems strange […]

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ca101 recycling

Following an overlap Another point worth considering is in relation to our earlier comment that overlapping talk potentially cannot be heard properly. We are aware that a characteristic of collaborative conversation is that the current speaker strives to ensure that he or she is being attended to, understood and, therefore, heard. How does a speaker […]

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Resolving Overlapping Talk

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We have noted elsewhere (see Definition of Conversation) that, in the relatively few instances when there is overlapping talk, interlocutors attempt to rectify the situation by reverting to a state of one, and only one, speaker as quickly as possible. How do they achieve this? Well, there are a number of strategies. We will consider two: […]

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Overlapping Talk

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Types of overlapping talk We have noted that one general characteristic of conversation is that interlocutors talk one at a time. Clearly, there will be instances when this is not so. For example, a listener may begin his or her talk before the current speaker has finished speaking and overlap the speaker. During such instances, […]

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Violative Interruption

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Intentional overlap Contrast the previous example (Inadvertent Overlap) with the following extract taken from a conversation between two people. 1 Nicholas:  I thought it was a sensible 2            consi//deration to walk 3 Mary:             that’s stupid because no 4            one can make those sorts of decisions anymore In this extract, first look at where Mary’s talk in […]

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Inadvertent Overlap

ca101 inadvertent overlap

Accidental overlap Consider the following extract from a conversation between two people [NB: the symbol consisting of two parallel lines // indicates the starting point at which the talk is overlapped by the talk on the immediately following line]. 1 Deepak:  you’ve done that before (..) // haven’t you? 2 Andy:                            […]

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Turn Allocation: Rule 4

ca101 turn allocation - Rule 4

Rule 4 Recursive application of Rules 1-3 In the previous analysis (reproduced below for ease of access) we have seen that when Rule 3 has been applied, i.e. the current speaker chooses to continue with their turn at talk because they have not selected the next speaker and no other speaker has self-selected as the next […]

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