Edited by Jarmila Mildorf and Bronwen Thomas
[Dialogue Studies 28] 2017
► pp. 117–136
Dialogic interactions on radio
Studs Terkel’s literary interviews
This paper focuses on a sub-category of journalistic interviews, namely the so-called “literary interview,” where writers are interviewed about their lives and works. More specifically, the paper investigates the dynamics of literary interviews as radio broadcasts and therefore emphasizes their conversational and medial side, paying attention to turn-taking mechanisms and the use of voice quality and prosody in the authors’ multimodal self-presentations. Key linguistic concepts in this regard are interviewees’ “audience design,” and also participants’ speech accommodation and verbal “duetting,” which point to the collaborative nature of these interviews. The case studies are drawn from American radio journalist Studs Terkel’s interviews with Ralph Ellison, Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison.