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Multiple modalities in collaborative turn sequences

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The article investigates resources used by parties in interaction to successfully complete each others’ utterances. Among the different ways in which recipients can demonstrate their understanding, collaborative completions are the most convincing since they display not only recipients’ understanding of the stance or the import of a turn-in-progress, but the minute analysis of the action itself. The article starts with a discussion of syntactic and action-sequential features of talk that can account for collaborative turn sequences and then focuses on other, non-verbal resources that may be made relevant at particular interactional junctures. An analysis of the several instances of collaborative completions illustrates the use of visually accessible features of the surround, gestural and postural conduct, and gaze direction in collaborative turn sequences. It is suggested that an interplay of these multiple modalities enables the participants to collaborate in co-constructing single syntactic units of talk.

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Keywords: conversation analysis; gaze; gesture; multimodal interaction; turn-taking system

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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