Volume 18, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1572-0373
  • E-ISSN: 1572-0381
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Turn-taking – the coordinated and efficient transition between the roles of sender and receiver in communication – is a fundamental property of conversational interaction. The turn-taking mechanism depends on a variety of linguistic factors related to syntax, semantics and prosody, which have recently been subject to vigorous research. This contrasts with the relative lack of studies on nonverbal visual signals and cues that can be involved in taking turns at talking. In this paper, we consider the relation between turn-transitions and : a class of nonverbal behaviors prototypically involving touching one’s own body or manipulating external objects. We recorded 10 semi-scripted conversations between a total of 12 subjects and annotated the material for discrete adaptors and turn borders. We found that participants produced discrete adaptors significantly more frequently close to floor transfers (turn borders). Our result goes against the long-standing tradition of interpreting adaptors as unrelated to speech and, more generally, communicative interaction.


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