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Evolutionary Syntax

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Academic Paper

Title: A Preference for Progressivity in Interaction
Author: Tanya Stivers
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of California, Los Angeles
Author: Jeffrey D. Robinson
Institution: Rutgers University
Linguistic Field: Discourse Analysis; Pragmatics
Subject Language: None
Abstract: This article investigates two types of preference organization in interaction: in response to a question that selects a next speaker in multi-party interaction, the preference for answers over non-answer responses as a category of a response; and the preference for selected next speakers to respond. It is asserted that the turn allocation rule specified by Sacks, Schegloff & Jefferson (1974) which states that a response is relevant by the selected next speaker at the transition relevance place is affected by these two preferences once beyond a normal transition space. It is argued that a “second-order” organization is present such that interactants prioritize a preference for answers over a preference for a response by the selected next speaker. This analysis reveals an observable preference for progressivity in interaction.


This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 35, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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