Syntactic and prosodic forms of first names in institutional interaction involving multiple participants

Dimitri Voilmy, Mari Wiklund

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This paper examines one aspect of turn-taking organization in institutional interactions: the use of first names and their prosodic marking for next-speaker selection. Institutional interaction is characterized by asymmetrical rights to talk and pre-allocation of action. This involves the restriction of one party to asking questions and the other to responding to them. The analysis focuses on two of these multiparty formal situations: co-present classroom participants and live interactive television broadcast with remote participants. In each context, turn allocation is determined by one party: the teacher or TV host. After asking a question as a sequence-initiating action, the teacher or host designates the next speaker by name. The use of first names is situatedly examined in terms of turn-taking organization and prosodic characteristics. The study examines how the prosodic marking is context-sensitive: do the participants have visual access to each other’s actions and how is a name used to attract attention? This paper analyses the formation and maintaining of a mutual orientation towards a single conversational action: selecting and giving the floor to a co-participant of the conversation in an institutional framework. These detailed descriptions of the sequential order are based on ethnomethodologically-informed conversation analysis. The objective is to compare four “single cases”, preserving the specificities and “whatness” of each excerpt.
Translated title of the contributionEtunimien syntaktiset ja prosodiset muodot monenkeskisessä institutionaalisessa vuorovaikutuksessa
Original languageEnglish
Issue number13
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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