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TitleThe Language of Turn and Sequence
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Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. Constituency and the Grammar of Turn Increments
3. Cultivating Prayer
4. Producing Sense with Nonsense Syllables: Turn and Sequence in Conversations with a Man with Severe Aphasia
5. Contingent Achievement of Co-Tellership in a Japanese Conversation: An Analysis of Talk, Gaze, and Gesture
6. Saying What Wasn't Said: Negative Observation as a Linguistic Resource for the Interactional Achievement of Performance Feedback
7. Recipient Activities: The Particle No as a Go-Ahead Response in Finnish Conversations
8. Oh-Prefaced Responses to Assessments: A Method of Modifying Agreement/Disagreement
9. Turn-Sharing: The Choral Co-Production of Talk-in-Interaction
10. Some Linguistic Aspects of Closure Cut-Off
Document Text Contents
Page 2

The Language of
Turn and Sequence

Page 150

Saying What Wasn 't Said 139

said as what was not said earlier. What the presenter just said as an act of clarifica-
tion is thus reframed by Ron as the remedy for solving the communicative prob-
lem the current comment sequence has been addressing all along.

If the presenter displays difficulty in answering Ron's questions, Ron may
answer his own question himself, occasionally even launching into brief physics
mini-lectures in order to demonstrate to the presenter a more adequate clarifica-
tion of the matters of physics in question. Displaying that they hear these extended
explanations by Ron as potentially assuming an incomplete knowledge of physics
on the part of the recipient, presenters often defensively respond by claiming to
already know what Ron has just elucidated in detail. This interactional environ-
ment leads to the second recurring kind of sequence variation of contingently raised,
saying what wasn't said negative observations:

Ron: [clarifies a point of physics in an extended turn]
Presenter: [claims prior knowledge of the explanation]
Ron: [points out that what presenter has just now claimed to know s/he

failed to say in the rehearsal runthrough]

In other words, despite Ron getting the presenter during post-runthrough feed-
back to claim adequate knowledge of matters of physics that were inadequately
explained during the runthrough, Ron reasserts the complaint with which he
launched the current comment sequence by anaphorically pointing to what he just
now clarified more adequately as what the presenter didn't say earlier. Ron's own
just-said act of clarification is thus reframed by Ron as the remedy for solving the
communicative problem the current comment sequence has been addressing all
along. Whether it is of the first kind or second kind of sequential variation, how-
ever, Ron displays a quick ability to contingently seize upon something just now
said in the clarification discussion and point out to the presenter that it wasn't said
in the rehearsal runthrough performance but by implication should have been and
ought to be said in an improved version of the presentation.

Segments (3) and (4) represent both these interactional environments for
saying what wasn't said negative observations. We noted earlier that while con-
tingently raised negative observations are linguistically tied through anaphoric
reference (e.g., that) to some prior talk in the comment sequence in progress,
such referential pro-terms in Ron's complaints of omission can thus be sequen-
tially deployed to refer to different kinds of antecedent talk: something that the
presenter or Ron just said (Segments (3) and (4), respectively). We now look more
closely at how these two variational forms of contingently raised saying what
wasn't said are achieved.

Segments (3) and (10) are both instances of Ron making use of a presenter's
just-prior talk in a clarification discussion during feedback to point out contin-
gently that something wasn't said in the presentation runthrough. In Segment (3),
for instance, Ron appears to be starting a comment sequence with a bona fide re-
ported speech preface (as in Segment (8)) ("You said that uh: (.) how do we see
do- (0.2) you say therefore we see domains in the zero <fie:ld cooled (.) case> for
T greater than T field cooled"). But before Ron can contrast his report of what was

Page 151


said with a complaint about what wasn't said, the presenter (Miguel) overlaps the
tail end of the reported speech component to produce an account of why he said
what Ron reports him to have said ("Yeah that's because the uh (0.4) mts that's
because (0.4) here (.) the: uh:m (1.0) the field cooled procedure you only see do-
mains."). Through his hasty response, Miguel displays that he has interpreted Ron's
in-progress report of what was said in the presentation as the focal complaint of
the newly launched comment sequence. It is important to note that the content of
Miguel's explanation of "why" is not an explanation oriented to "matters of rheto-
ric"—that is, rhetorical organization, technical constraints, graphic design, or au-
dience impact of the presentation (Ochs and Jacoby 1997). Instead, his explana-
tion is oriented to "matters of physics"—that is, the physical processes under
investigation as he understands them. In the context of apparently having heard
or anticipated in Ron's reporting assertion a challenge to his physical argument,
Miguel pre-emptively brings forth his account as supportive evidence for the claim
he made during the runthrough.21

At this point in Segment (3), just as Miguel begins a second TCU ("You never
see:"), apparently in prosecution of furthering his explanation, Ron counters with
his own interruptive overlap to anaphorically point out that what Miguel was just
saying now was not said in the runthrough ("(Yeah but) you didn't say that."). The
particular formulation of Ron's contingently raised negative observation has two
parts. The first TCU is a pro-forma agreement token ("(Yeah)"), which displays
that Ron is not taking issue with the matters of physics as such, and thus it also
serves to block Miguel's pre-emptive interpretive trajectory that Ron's complaint
was oriented to an insufficiently supported physical claim. Pressing on with his
possibly contrastive second TCU, however ("(but) you didn't say that."), Ron as-
serts that his complaint is that Miguel failed to say in the runthrough what he just
said in the comment sequence

There is no way to know, of course, whether Ron was planning to make this
particular negative observation the complaint of focus all along or he considered
Miguel's response to the prefatory statement in the comment sequence opening to
be correct in terms of whatever comment of focus Ron had originally been aiming
for.22 What is discernible is Ron's sequentially contingent exploitation of a presenter's
display of expertise in physics as the discursive anchor, through anaphoric reference,
for the raising of a saying what wasn't said negative observation, a complaint of
omission, regarding the recently rehearsed conference presentation.

Segment (10) is another, but sequentially variant, example of Ron making use
of a presenter's clarification of a point of physics during the feedback phase to
contingently raise a negative observation about the practice presentation in the
runthrough phase of the rehearsal activity:

( lO)ROLAB 10-25-90

((from a comment sequence that began as a complaint about Miguel's under-
specification of the term "relaxation" in a statement made during the run-
((Complying with Ron's request, Miguel displays viewgraph of his experimen-
tal protocol.))

Page 300

Index 289

next sound due, 274
nii (Finnish particle), 182-90, 192n.9,

no (Finnish particle), 165-82, 189-90

and prior utterances, 177-82
as response to presequence first pair

parts, 168-77
nonsense syllables, 56-78

o/i-prefaced responses, 196-223
access to and/or rights to assess

referent, 204-9
agreements, 198-201, 211-14
disagreements, 211-18
epistemic authority and agree plus

disagree formats, 209-11
equivalent but independent access, 201-4
to "hold position," 222n.22

opportunistic closure cut-off, 263, 84n.ll

pause, 283n.3
performance feedback, 123-60
phonetic terminology, 281-83
phonological terminology, 281-83
post-positioned directives, 159n.37
prayer, in children, 39-54

preliminaries to preliminaries, 172-77

and increments, 32—33
of person with aphasia, 57, 62-63, 78n.9

pulmonic cut-off, 258, 275-78

reminiscence, mutual, 238-39
reminiscence recognition solicit, 232-33
repair, 258-60, 283n.3, 284n.l4
repair initiator, 257-58
repetition, 91

Sacks, Harvey, 4
same-turn repair, 258-60, 283n.3
saying what wasn't said, 123-60

as contingently raised negative
observation, 138-48

discursive scope of, 148-49
institutional identity and

generalizability, 151-52
and issues of competence, 151

launching comment sequences with,

negative observations and relevant next
actions, 150-51

turns in sequential context, 129-33
scaled disagreement, 217-18
Schegloff, Emanuel, 3, 4, 6
sequence(s), 4, 7

collapsing, 72-73
comment, 125, 133-38, 148, 155n.5
in conversations with person with

aphasia, 56-78
matrix of, 10-11
multiparty, 57, 60
Summons Answer, 62, 63, 66-67, 78n.8
summons request, 60-73
telling, 82

shadowing, 231
silence, 157n.l8, 158n.26, 158n.29
simultaneous speech, 225-26, 250n.l,

social interaction, 4, 81, 114
song, 244, 253n.l6
stop environments, 264-67
Summons Answer sequences, 62, 63, 66-

67, 78n.8
summonses, 168-69
summons request sequences, 60-73
Sunday school prayer, 44-45, 48-49, 52-53

talk-in-interaction, 225-54
Tannen, Deborah, 5
TCU. See turn-constructional unit
technology, 3
telling sequence, 82
translation, 115n.5
turn-constructional unit (TCU)

co-production of, 226-28, 235, 249-50,

definition of, 116n.8
in Japanese conversation, 92-93
and negative observation, 157n.l7,

and turn-sharing, 226-28, 233-36, 249-

turn(s), 4, 7

beginnings, 196-97
competition and choral co-production,


Page 301

290 Index

turn(s) (continued) Unattached NPs, 25-34, 34n.2
constituency and grammar of unexpessed referents, 94-97, 117n.l7

increments, 14-35
in conversations with person with

aphasia, 56-78 verbs, 115n.7
functions of, 8-10
meaning of, 16
and saying what wasn't said, 129-33 word-offset cut-offs, 273
sharing, 225-54 word order, Japanese, 108-9

"unknowing" recipitents,98

vowel environmaents,261-64

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