TCU-initial backchannel overlap in storytelling
While overlap represents one of the major mainstays of conversation-analytic research, the phenomenon of overlap involving backchannels in TCU-initial position has largely gone unnoticed. This study addresses this gap focusing on backchannels occurring in overlap in storytelling interaction. The investigation combines both quantitative and qualitative methods and is based on small but representative samples drawn from the audio files available for the Narrative Corpus. The primary discovery of this study is that TCU-initial backchannel overlaps typically occur at points where the storytelling’s progressivity is decelerated, either due to delays in the backchannel’s production or to the teller interrupting the telling’s linearity to insert background information, upgrade references, or slip in digressions. An alternative environment for the occurrence of TCU-initial backchannel overlap is around the story climax. Data are in British English.
Keywords: TCU, overlap, backchannels, floor-transfer offset, progressivity, story sections, XQuery
Published online: 19 October 2018
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