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How phonetic features project more talk

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 November 2012

John Local
Department of Language and Linguistic ScienceUniversity of
Gareth Walker
School of English Literature, Language and LinguisticsUniversity of


Investigations into the management of turn-taking have typically focussed on pitch and other prosodic phenomena, particularly pitch-accents. Here, non-pitch phonetic features and their role in turn-taking are described. Through sustained phonetic and interactional analysis of a naturally occurring, 12-minute long telephone call between two adult speakers of British English, sets of talk-projecting and turn-projecting features are identified. Talk-projecting features include the avoidance of durational lengthening, articulatory anticipation, continuation of voicing, the production of talk in maximally close proximity to a preceding point of possible turn-completion, and the reduction of consonants and vowels. Turn-projecting features include the converse of each of the talk-projecting features, and two other distinct features: release of plosives at the point of possible turn-completion, and the production of audible outbreaths. We show that features of articulatory and phonatory quality and duration are relevant factors in the design and treatment of talk as talk- or turn-projective.

Research Article
Copyright © International Phonetic Association 2012

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