Edited by Arnulf Deppermann and Jürgen Streeck
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 293] 2018
► pp. 123–160
Chapter 4. Revisiting delayed completions
The retrospective management of co-participant action
Since Lerner coined the notion of delayed completion in 1989, this recurrent social practice of continuing one’s speaking turn while disregarding an intermediate co-participant’s utterance has not been investigated with regard to embodied displays and actions. A sequential approach to videotaped mundane conversations in German will explain the occurrence and use of delayed completions. First, especially in multi-party and multi-activity settings, delayed completions can result from reduced monitoring and coordinating activities. Second, recipients can use intra-turn response slots for more extended responsive actions than the current speaker initially projected, leading to delayed completion sequences. Finally, delayed completions are used for blocking possibly misaligned co-participant actions. The investigation of visible action illustrates that delayed completions are a basic practice for retrospectively managing co-participant response slots.