Seminar paper from the year 2001 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Linguistics, grade: 2 (B), University of Potsdam (Institute for Anglistics/American Studies), 13 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The concept of turn-taking covers a wide range: it is not just a theoretical construction in the linguistic field of discourse analysis, but an omnipresent pattern in communicative events, governing speech-acts and defining social roles as it establishes and maintains social relationships. Turn-taking is considered to play an essential role in structuring people's social interactions in terms of control and regulation of conversation. Therefore the system of turn-taking has become object of analyses both for linguists and for sociologists. The starting point of the analysis was to show regularities of conversational structure by describing the ways in which participants take turns in speaking. The first important approach to turn-taking was made by Duncan in 1972. From then on turn-taking has been accepted as one of the standard tasks 'which must be managed if interaction is to occur'1. The most influential work in the area of turn-taking is the study by Sacks, Schegloff and Jefferson ( SS&J ) from 1974. They embody the so called 'American approach of conversation analysis'. Their theoretical approach has to be seen as standard work for further discussions, although there have been several objections against it. SS&J regarded informal conversational settings and analysed the conventions which regulate turn-taking in there. They found out that there is an existence of rules the participants are aware of. SS&J say that the central principle in conversation is that speakers follow in 'taking turns to avoid gaps and overlaps in conversation' 2 If gaps occur they are short. SS&J propose a simplest system for the organisation of turn-taking in conversation. The model consists of two components: the turn-construction and the turn-taking component. [...] 1 Leeds-Hurwitz, Wendy. Communication in Everyday Life - A Social Interpretation. Norwood: Ablex Publ., 1989. 112. 2 Jaworski, Adam / Coupland, Nikolas (ed.) . The Discourse Reader. London: Routledge, 1999. 20.
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