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Beatrice Szczepek

Prosodic Orientation in Spoken Interaction

The focus of this study is on participants' prosodic collaboration during talk-in-interaction, and this phenomenon is introduced here as "prosodic orientation". The term "orientation" has been used in conversation analysis to describe many forms of observable reaction by one participant to another:

Throughout the course of a conversation or other bout of talk-in-interaction, speakers display in their sequentially 'next' turns an understanding of what the 'prior' turn was about. That understanding may turn out to be what the prior speaker intended, or not; whichever it is, that itself is something which gets displayed in the next turn in the sequence. We describe this as a next-turn-proof-procedure, and it is the most basic tool used in CA to ensure that analyses explicate the orderly properties of talk as oriented-to accomplishments of participants, rather than being based merely on the assumptions of the analyst.
(Hutchby and Wooffitt (1998:15); emphasis mine)

The term prosodic orientation describes one speaker responding prosodically to another speaker's prosody in the immediately following turn. It does not encompass any other form of orientation which participants may display in conversation, as for example laughter or meta-linguistic comments.

 To cite this publication:
Beatrice Szczepek:Prosodic Orientation in Spoken Interaction, InLiSt - Interaction and Linguistic Structures, No. 27, November 2001, URL: <http://www.uni-potsdam.de/u/inlist/issues/27/index.htm>


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