Gaze selects the next speaker in answers to questions pronominally addressed to more than one co-participant
Like many other languages, but unlike modern (standard) English, German has a distinct second person plural pronoun (ihr, ‘you guys’), contrasting with the second person singular pronoun (du). The second person plural pronoun addresses a turn to more than one, and possibly all co-present participants. This paper investigates turn-taking after such multiply addressed turns, taking as an example information-seeking questions, i.e., a sequential context in which a specific next action is relevant in the adjacent position. It might appear that in such a context, self-selection applies (Schegloff 1992: 122); more than one co-participant is addressed, but none selected as next speaker. In this paper, I show on the basis of spontaneous interactions recorded with mobile eye-tracking equipment that this is not the case and that TCU-final gaze is employed to select the next speaker. The participant not being gazed at TCU-finally is addressed, but not selected as the answerer in next position and may provide an answer in a sequential position after the first answer. The article demonstrates that gaze is an efficient way to allocate turns in the absence of verbal cues and thus contributes to our understanding of turn-taking from a multimodal perspective.
- 1.Second person pronouns, gaze and next speaker selection
- 2.Quantitative results
- 3.First and second answers after ihr-questions
- 4.Simultaneous answers to ihr-questions
- 5.Negotiating speakership in delayed responses
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