Chapter 24. Gestures in overlap

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This paper aims at contributing to the analysis of overlaps in turns-at-talk from both a sequential and a multimodal perspective. Overlaps have been studied within Conversation Analysis by focusing mainly on verbal and vocal resources; taking into account multimodal resources such as gesture, bodily posture, and gaze contributes to a better understanding of participants’ orientations to the sequential organization of overlapping talk and their management of speakership.First, we introduce the way in which overlaps have been studied in Conversation Analysis, mainly by Jefferson (1973, 1983, 2004) and Schegloff (2000); then we propose possible implications of their multimodal analysis. In order to demonstrate that speakers systematically orient to the overlap onset and resolution we analyze the multimodal conduct of overlapped speakers. Findings show methodical variations in trajectories of overlap resolution: speakers’ gestures in overlap display themselves as maintaining or withdrawing their turn, thereby exhibiting the speakership achieved and negotiated during overlap.


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