Multimodal resources for turn-taking: pointing and the emergence of possible next speakers

Discourse Studies 9 (2):194-225 (2007)
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Abstract

The article investigates a multimodal practice for self-selecting observed in a video-taped corpus of work meetings: the use of pointing gestures predicting possible turn completions and projecting the emergence of possible next speakers. This practice is analyzed in various sequential positions, namely at turn beginnings and at pre-beginnings. It displays recipients' practical online turn parsing, and their orientation to transition spaces, and to TCU, completions in a visible, recognizable, public way. It shows the emergent and progressive establishment of speakership, exploiting both systematic features of turn-taking and specific features of the interactional space. The article explores the emic, locally situated and contingent definition of speakership by considering not only where pointing gestures begin but also where they end: pointing does not only end in pre-completion positions, projecting turn end, but can also persist through sequences, showing speaker's orientations to her turn's sequential implicativeness. Thus, by observing a particular multimodal practice within a specific interactional setting, the article explores participants' orientations to the rights and obligations associated with talk-related categories such as `non current speaker', `possible next speaker', `incipient speaker' and `current speaker'.

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Lorenza Mondada
University of Basel

References found in this work

Lectures on Conversation.Harvey Sacks & Gail Jefferson - 1995 - Human Studies 18 (2):327-336.
Contingency and Units in Interaction.Cecilia E. Ford - 2004 - Discourse Studies 6 (1):27-52.

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