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Talking out of turn

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Abstract

This paper examines the use of co-constructions in spontaneous Russian conversations. Co-constructions are found when one speaker completes another speaker’s utterance, that is, a co-construction is a syntactic unit created within a single turn construction unit but by multiple speakers. Co-constructions argue for the existence of a shared syntax and for projection of that syntax by the first part of the construction. They underscore the interactional and collaborative nature of conversation: radio interviews illustrate how co-constructions can be used by interlocutors to influence topic, and more informal conversations illustrate their use in signaling heightened involvement and solidarity.

References

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