Turn-Taking Presented by Sarah Friedman April 4, 2005 Based on: Sacks, H., Schegloff, E.A., Jefferson, G. (1974). A Simplest Systematics for the Organization of Turn-Taking for Conversation. Language, 50, 696- 735.
Introduction • Report on turn-taking system for conversation • Research using audio recording of naturally occuring conversations
Need for a New Turn-Taking Model • Investigators of small group interaction have difficulty explaining behaviors using turn-taking systems • Researchers of “interview” behavior are concerned with • The distribution of talk among the parties • Silences • The way talk shifts from one speaker to another These researchers dealt with turn-taking questions, but unsatisfactorily because of weaknesses in turn-taking models
Reasons for Research • Obvious that one party talks at a time, there are techniques for allocating turns, etc. • Can be applied to many contexts
Turn Allocation • Next turn is allocated by • Current speaker • Self-selection
Rules Governing Turn Construction 1. For any turn, at a transition-relevant place: • If “current speaker selects next” then the person selected is obligated to take the next turn. • If not, self-selection may be instituted. • Or, the current speaker may continue unless someone self-selects. 2. If 1c occurs, then rules a-c reapply at the next transition-relevant place
The System Accounts for: • Speaker change • One party talking majority of the time • Occcurrences of more than one speaker at a time are common but brief
Types of Overlap • Accounted for by rule 1b (self-selection): Competing for next turn. Lil: Bertha’s lost, on our scale, about fourteen pounds. Damora: Oh[::no::, Jean: [Twelve pounds I think wasn’t it = Daisy: [Can you believe it? Lil: [Twelve pounds on the Weight Watcher’s scale.
Types of Overlap (cont…) • Assume you know how the speaker will finish. A: Well if you knew my argument why did you bother to a:[sk. B: [Because I’d like to defend my argument. • The speaker added optional elements that can go after completion. A: Uh you been down here before [havenche, B: [Yeh.
Turn Order/Size • Turn Order • Not fixed yet it’s not random • Bias: Speaker before the current speaker is selected as the next speaker • Turn Size • Not fixed • Why? • Because of unit types (single-word turns, single phrase turns, etc.) • Because of rule 1C (current speaker can continue) the speaker can produce more than one unit type
More on Turns • The length and content of conversations are not specified in advance • Anyone can be the next speaker • Number of parties can vary. • With 4 you can have multiple conversations • Turns begin at “possible completion points” • Repairs exist for errors: • Who me? • Excuse me?
Continuous or Discontinuous • Talk can be continuous or discontinuous • Continuous = minimum gap or overlap • Discontinuous = a current speaker has stopped and no speaker starts, and non-talk is a lapse. J: Oh I could drive if you want me to. C: Well no I’ll drive (I don’ m//in’). J: hhh. (1.0) J: I meant to offah. (16.0) J: Those shoes look nice when you keep on putting stuff on ‘em. C: Yeah I ‘ave to get another can cuz cuz it ran out….
Turn Allocation Techniques: Select Next Speaker 1. “Type of Sequence” parts. (Adjacency pairs). Examples: • Complaint/denial Ken: Hey yuh took my chair by the way an’t I don’t think that was very nice. Al: I didn’ take yer chair, it’s my chair. • Compliment/rejection A: I’m glad I have you for a friend. B: That’s because you don’t have any others.
Turn Allocation Techniques: Select Next Speaker (cont…) 2. Repeat parts of prior utterance with a question intonation or one word question. Ben: They gotta – a garage sale Lori: Where. Ben: On Third Avenue.
Turn Allocation Techniques: Select Next Speaker (cont…) 3. Tag question • You know? Don’t you agree? 4. Introduce social identities • Two couples speaking. An invitation is made by a speaker to go to the movies. The next speaker should be a member of the other couple.
Turn Allocation Techniques: Self-Selection 1. Starting First 2. “Second Starters” R: Hey::, the place looks different F: Yeah::hh. K: Ya have to see all ou[r new-* D: [It does?* R: Oh yeah
Consequences of the Model • Motivation for listening to all utterances in a conversation • To see if you are the next speaker • If you want to speak, make sure no one else was selected to speak • When a new speaker is selected, the speaker has to perform the second part of the adjacency pair. • Shows he understood the prior turn’s talk as the first part