The Structure of Spontaneous Conversation


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  • Created by: Treac94
  • Created on: 02-04-12 14:16

Adjancency Pairs

Where an utteranace from a speaker leads directly to a response from another. These are key building blocks in conversation.

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Where adjacency pairs are liked allowing conversation to proceed like the links in a chain, until one speaker initiates a topic shift/transition or the conversation ends. This is the structural principle on which all conversations develop.

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Non-fluency features

Where a speaker hesitates, makes a false start and self-corrects, or uses a filler.

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Are not a sign that the speaker is inarticulate. They act as filled pauses to allow thinking time between utterances.

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A hedge is a filler which softens the force with which something is said, often because the speaker is reluctant or embarassed to say something.

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Cooperative signals

Where speaker A uses words and phrases, or makes a sound to give feedback to speaker B. Feedback is the green light of conversation.

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Discourse Markers

These are words or phrases that mark boundaries in the conversation between one topic and the next.

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Phatic Talk

Where utterances have a purely social function assigned to initiate or encourage conversation.

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