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Notability

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Abstract

In this paper, I analyze the behavior of television viewers while watching matches of the men’s FIFA World Cup live on television. My main focus will be sudden unannounced shifts from focused talk-in-interaction between the participants to a complete orientation on the happenings on television. These shifts are instantiated through interjections which function as contextualization cues indexing the relevance of the scene on television. Since notability is negotiable, they may be followed by evaluations accounting for the notability of the scene. The scalar nature of notability can be realized through a number of non-lexical modalities such as increase in pitch and loudness, gaze, facial expressions, gesturing, or even jumping around. The more modalities are used and the more different they are to the surrounding behavior, the more a scene is interpreted and flagged as notable by the viewers. In contrast to tellability which is concerned with the construction of past events in talk, notability strives to account for the construction of current events as they unfold at the same time as the talk produced by the viewers.

References

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