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Turn-taking in conversation: Turn construction. Observable facts of the turn-taking behaviour. Speaker change recurs, or at least occurs Overwhelmingly one person talks at a time Occurrences of more than one speaker at a time are common by brief
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Observable facts of the turn-taking behaviour • Speaker change recurs, or at least occurs • Overwhelmingly one person talks at a time • Occurrences of more than one speaker at a time are common by brief • Transitions (from one turn to the next) with no gap and no overlap are common. Together with turns characterized by a slight gap or slight overlap • Turn order is not fixed, but varies • Turn size is not fixed, but varies • Length of conversation is not specified in advance • What parties say is not specified in advance • Relative distribution of turns is not specified in advance • Number of parties can vary • Talk can be continuous or discontinuous • Turn allocation techniques are obviously used • Various ‘turn constructional units’ are employed • Repair mechanisms exist for dealing with turn-taking errors and violations (Sacks, Schegloff and Jefferson 1974:700-701)
Organising Turn-taking • The fact that one person at a time is not necessary and some activities can overlap regularly and unproblematically.
Candidate answers to turn-taking • Candidate answers to the turn-taking problem - how do you know when to change? 1. There is a marker at the end of talk to indicate that a turn has come to an end? 2. Turn size is fixed and so the end is predictable? • Candidate answers to the turn-taking problem - how do you know who speaks next? 1. order is fixed in advance? 2. ‘traffic cop’? 3. everything is fixed in advance?
Candidate answers to turn-taking • The model proposed by Sacks, Schegloff and Jefferson (1974) has 3 components • 1. the turn constructional component • 2. the turn allocation components • 3. rules for employing these
Turn construction • People do not talk only in sentences, but can use a range of different structures to construct their talk.
Turn construction • Turns are made up of TCU’s. A variety of units can compose a TCU (word, phrase, sentence). • When a TCU is produced it is recognized as possibly complete in the context is which it is produced.
Turn construction • TCU’s have are projectable: speakers can know roughly what will come next.
Possible completion • TCUs are recognised as being possibly complete in their context. • There are four ways in which some segment of talk can be possibly complete. • grammatical completeness • intonational completeness • pragmatic completeness • nonverbal completeness
Possible completion • In turn-taking speakers orient to possible completeness, not actual completeness.
Transition relevance places • Transition relevance places (TRP)are points where a speaker’s talk is possibly complete. At a TRP, speaker change is a possible legitimate next action. • TRPs are not places where speaker change has to occur, but rather places where speaker change could occur. • Attempts at speaker change other than at a TRP are accountable. • At the end of each TCU speaker change is possible. • Speakership is negotiated interactionally at each TRP.
Extending turn constructional units • Where talk proceeds beyond a TCU, this talk can actually be planned as an increment to a preceding TCU, not necessarily as a new TCU.
Turn expansion • Speakers may use an extended turn construction unit after another speakers turn at talk. • Where this happens the speaker may simply be extending the talk, but in some instances, it may function to “edit out” the impact of the talk by removing its sequential relevance.