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Research on Language and Social Interaction

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Communication -- Phonetics, American English -- Linguistics


Extending Jefferson’s analysis of the limited utility of turn-constructional-unit (TCU)-initial particles in managing overlapping talk, this article limits itself to a similar turn-taking context/position in which current speakers bring TCUs to places of possible completion when it is relevant for next speakers to take a turn of talk. This article examines situations in which current speakers continue to audibly inhale in the transition space, arguing that inhalations (a) are pre-beginning actions; (b) bestow a weaker right to speak next than does talk; (c) are not accountable for obscuring next speakers’ talk (if it eventuates); (d) allow for beginning TCUs while monitoring for next speakers’ talk, thereby allowing inhalers to proceed contingently based on next speakers’ unfolding conduct; and (e) are used to mitigate the systemic turn-taking troubles of “no person speaking at a time” and “more than one person speaking at a time.” Data are videotapes of mundane, dyadic, American English conversation.


© 2023 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


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