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Co-ordination of speech and gesture in sequence and time: Phonetic and non-verbal detail in face-to-face interaction

Sikveland, Rein Ove (2011) Co-ordination of speech and gesture in sequence and time: Phonetic and non-verbal detail in face-to-face interaction. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This thesis explores interactional processes during and between turns of talk, and how speakers and hearers accommodate each other in this process, using particular phonetic and non-verbal resources. It aims to pin down some of the interactional background work necessary to maintain coherence between turns, and seeks to explain how efficient turn-taking is made possible. These issues are addressed with detailed attention to both sequential and temporal aspects of the interactional process, combining Conversation Analysis, phonetic analyses and gestural micro-analyses. Focussing on hearers’ role in interaction, three hearer resources have been studied, in three separate studies: (i) phonetic characteristics of verbal responses (e.g. “mhm”, “yeah”), (ii) head-nods, and (iii) gesture hold. The first study investigates how phonetic characteristics are used to signal whether two consecutive verbal responses are doing the same action, and shows how these characteristics are systematically used to project a shift in topic. The second study investigates head-nods used to display anticipation of further turn production. It shows how the precise co-extension of head-nods with the speaker’s turn is relevant for securing an unproblematic transition to a next turn. Timing is also central issue in the third study, which studies instances where a speaker holds their gesture beyond the (verbal) completion of their turn and into a co-participant’s turn. This is a resource for bringing forward an explicit issue in understanding, and the study shows how the timing of gesture hold with a co-participant’s response is crucial to resolve this understanding. This thesis contributes towards a better understanding of how the co-ordination of phonetic and non-verbal details shape talk as doing particular actions. It problematises how we should come to understand language, and, offering new insight into hearers’ roles in interaction, it challenges the traditional distinction between speaker and hearer.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Phonetics, gesture, talk-in-interaction, multimodal, turn-taking, turn organisation, hearer, language use, intersubjectivity
Academic Units: The University of York > Language and Linguistic Science (York)
Depositing User: Mr Rein Ove Sikveland
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2011 12:47
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:47
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1778

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