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Towards a phonology of conversation: turn-taking in Tyneside English1

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 November 2008

J. K. Local
Affiliation:
Language Department, University of York
J. Kelly
Affiliation:
Language Department, University of York
W. H. G. Wells
Affiliation:
Language Department, University of York

Extract

Remarkably little is known in detail about the phonetics and phonology of naturally occurring conversational talk. Virtually nothing of interest is known of the interactional implications of particular kinds of phonetic events in everyday talk: in particular about the ways in which participants in talk deploy general phonetic resources to accomplish specific interactional tasks. This is in part a consequence of the tendency of recent research on the phonological aspect of discourse to limit itself to ‘intonation’ as an area of primary interest. This work has moved away from the type of phonological analysis, such as that of Halliday (1967), that states intonational systems in terms of grammatically defined units or sentence types. Workers such as Brazil (1975, 1978, 1981), Brown, Currie and Kenworthy (1981), and Coulthard and Brazil (1981) have pursued Bolinger's suggestion that the relationship between intonation and grammar is ‘casual not causal’ and have sought to relate ‘intonation’ to discourse categories rather than to grammatical ones. These, and similar attempts to deal with aspects of discourse phonology, have suggested some organizational features which traditional linguistic accounts have not dealt with. On the whole, however, these recent attempts have been less than satisfactory for one or more of the following reasons.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1986

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