Intonation phrases in natural conversation

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This chapter tests the usefulness of the category <i>intonation phrase</i> for the analysis of natural conversation. It asks whether the intonation phrase is a relevant unit for participants, and if so, whether it is a prosodic, or indeed an interactional category. The data show that while participants do divide their speech into intonation phrase-like chunks, these chunks are not defined by intonation alone. Instead, participants draw on a variety of interactional modes in their production of speech chunks, which are defined here as building blocks for turns and Turn Constructional Units. Chunks are shown to be employed as interactional units below the turn, and potentially below the Turn Constructional Unit; therefore the term <i>Turn Constructional Phrase</i> is suggested.


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