Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-7ccbd9845f-mpxzb Total loading time: 2.425 Render date: 2023-01-31T03:27:50.941Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

On clicks in English talk-in-interaction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 July 2011

Melissa Wright*
Affiliation:
Department of Speech and Language Therapy and Rehabilitation Studies, Birmingham City Universitymelissa.wright@bcu.ac.uk

Abstract

This paper analyses clicks in naturally-occurring English conversation. It demonstrates that regardless of any paralinguistic functions clicks may undertake, their occurrence is orderly and systematic, and intimately tied to the interactional structure of talk. Specifically, clicks are shown to function alongside the phonetic parameters of pitch, articulatory segmental features and voice quality (and the sequential and lexical organisation of talk) to demarcate the onset of new and disjunctive sequences. The methodology employed combines (i) the sequential analysis techniques of Conversation Analysis with (ii) parametric impressionistic and instrumental phonetic investigations. A key feature of this methodology is the study of naturally-occurring conversation rather than intuited or laboratory speech data. The findings in this paper challenge the traditional view that clicks function only paralinguistically in English. They also highlight the fruitfulness of implementing phonetic investigations alongside interactional analyses since such an approach enables previously unobserved patterns in the phonetics-interaction interface to be identified.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © International Phonetic Association 2011

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Abercrombie, David. 1965. Studies in phonetics and linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Abercrombie, David. 1967. Elements of general phonetics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
Atkinson, J. Maxwell & Heritage, John C.. 1984a. Transcription notation. In Atkinson & Heritage (eds.), ix–xvi.Google Scholar
Atkinson, J. Maxwell & Heritage, John C. (eds.). 1984b. Structures of social action: Studies in conversation analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Ball, Martin J. 1989. Phonetics for speech pathology. London: Whurr Publishers.Google Scholar
Benor, Sarah B. 2004. Second style acquisition: The linguistic socialization of newly orthodox Jews. Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University.Google Scholar
Boersma, Paul & Weenink, David. 2010. PRAAT: Doing phonetics by computer (version 5.1.39). http://www.PRAAT.org/ (retrieved 10 July 2010).Google Scholar
Brown, Gillian, Currie, Karen L. & Kenworthy, Joanne. 1980. Questions of intonation. London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar
Clark, Herbert H. & Tree, Jean E. Fox. 2002. Using ‘uh’ and ‘um’ in spontaneous speaking. Cognition 84, 73111.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Clark, John & Yallop, Colin. 1990. An introduction to phonetics and phonology. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
Couper-Kuhlen, Elizabeth. 1993. English speech rhythm: Form and function in everyday verbal interaction. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Couper-Kuhlen, Elizabeth. 1996. The prosody of repetition: On quoting and mimicry. In Couper-Kuhlen & Selting (eds.), 365–405.Google Scholar
Couper-Kuhlen, Elizabeth. 1998. On high onsets and their absence in conversational interaction. InLiST 8. http://www.inlist.uni-bayreuth.de/issues/8/index.htm (retrieved 18 February 2001). [Published in 2001 as Interactional prosody: High onsets in reason-for-the-call turns, Language in Society 30, 29–53.]Google Scholar
Couper-Kuhlen, Elizabeth. 2001. Intonation and discourse: Current views from within. In Schiffrin, Deborah, Tannen, Deborah & Hamilton, Heidi E. (eds.), The handbook of discourse analysis, 1333. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
Couper-Kuhlen, Elizabeth. 2003. On initial boundary tones in English conversation. 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 15), Barcelona, 119–122.Google Scholar
Couper-Kuhlen, Elizabeth. 2004. Prosody and sequence organization in English conversation. In Couper-Kuhlen & Ford (eds.), 335–376.Google Scholar
Couper-Kuhlen, Elizabeth & Ford, Cecilia E. (eds.). 2004. Sound patterns in interaction. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Couper-Kuhlen, Elizabeth & Selting, Margret (eds.). 1996. Prosody in conversation: Interactional studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cruttenden, Alan. 1986. Intonation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Crystal, David. 1969. Prosodic systems and intonation in English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Crystal, David. 1987. The Cambridge encyclopaedia of language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Crystal, David & Davy, Derek. 1975. Advanced conversational English. London: Longman.Google Scholar
Curl, Traci S., Local, John & Walker, Gareth. 2004. Repetition and the prosody–pragmatics interface. York Papers in Linguistics 2 (1), 2963.Google Scholar
Dilley, Laura, Shattuck-Hufnagel, Stefanie & Ostendorf, Mari. 1996. Glottalization of word-initial vowels as a function of prosodic structure. Journal of Phonetics 24, 423444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Drew, Paul. 2005. Conversation analysis. In Fitch, Kristine L. & Sanders, Robert E. (eds.), Handbook of language and social interaction, 71102. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
Drew, Paul & Holt, Elizabeth. 1998. Figures of speech: Figurative expressions and the management of topic transition in conversation. Language in Society 27, 495522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Eklund, Robert. 2008. Pulmonic ingressive phonation: Diachronic and synchronic characteristics, distribution and function in animal and human sound production and in human speech. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 38 (3), 235324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Firth, J. R. 1935. The technique of semantics. In Firth, J. R., Papers in linguistics, 1934–1951, 733. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Fox Tree, Jean E. & Schrock, Josef C.. 2002. Basic meanings of ‘you know’ and ‘I mean’. Journal of Pragmatics 34, 727747.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
French, Peter & Local, John. 1983. Turn-competitive incomings. Journal of Pragmatics 7, 701715.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gimson, A. C. 1970. An introduction to the pronunciation of English, 2nd edn. Bristol: Edward Arnold.Google Scholar
Goodwin, Charles & Goodwin, Marjorie H.. 1992. Assessments and the construction of context. In Duranti, Alesssandro & Goodwin, Charles (eds.), Rethinking context: Language as an interactive phenomenon, 147189. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Heritage, John C. 1989. Current developments in conversation analysis. In Roger & Bull (eds.), 21–47.Google Scholar
Heritage, John C. & Atkinson, J. Maxwell. 1984. Introduction. In Atkinson & Heritage (eds.), 1–15.Google Scholar
Hirschberg, Julia & Pierrehumbert, Janet. 1986. Intonational structuring of discourse. 24th Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, New York, 136144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hutchby, Ian & Wooffitt, Roger. 1998. Conversation analysis. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
IPA. 1999. Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A guide to the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Jefferson, Gail. 1974. Error correction as an interactional resource. Language in Society 2, 181199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jefferson, Gail. 2002. Is “no” an acknowledgment token? Comparing American and British uses of (+)/(−) tokens. Journal of Pragmatics 34, 13451383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kelly, John & Local, John. 1989a. Doing phonology. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
Kelly, John & Local, John. 1989b. On the use of general phonetic techniques in handling conversational material. In Roger & Bull (eds.), 197–212.Google Scholar
Ladefoged, Peter. 1982. A course in phonetics, 2nd edn. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.Google Scholar
Ladefoged, Peter & Maddieson, Ian. 1996. The sounds of the world's languages. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
Laver, John. 1994. Principles of phonetics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lehiste, Ilse. 1975. The phonetic structure of paragraphs. In Cohen, Antonie & Nooteboom, Sieb (eds.), Structure and process in speech perception, 195206. Berlin: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Local, John. 1996. Conversational phonetics: Some aspects of news receipts in everyday talk. In Couper-Kuhlen & Selting (eds.), 177–230.Google Scholar
Local, John. 2003. Phonetics and talk-in-interaction. Position paper for symposium on phonetics and talk-in-interaction. 15th international Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 15), Barcelona, 115–118.Google Scholar
Local, John. 2004. Getting back to prior talk. In Couper-Kuhlen & Ford (eds.), 376–400.Google Scholar
Local, John & Kelly, John. 1986. Projection and ‘silences’: Notes on phonetic and conversational structure. Human Studies 9, 185204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Local, John, Kelly, John & Wells, William H. G.. 1986. Towards a phonology of conversation: Turn-taking in Tyneside English. Journal of Linguistics 22, 411437.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Local, John & Walker, Gareth. 2005. ‘Mind the gap’: Further resources in the production of multi-unit, multi-action turns. York Papers in Linguistics 2 (3), 133143.Google Scholar
Ogden, Richard. 2001. Turn transition, creak and glottal stop in Finnish talk-in-interaction. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 31 (1), 139152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ogden, Richard. 2004. Non-modal voice quality and turn-taking in Finnish. In Couper-Kuhlen & Ford (eds.), 29–62.Google Scholar
Ogden, Richard. 2006. Phonetics and social action in agreements and disagreements. Journal of Pragmatics 38, 17521775.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ohala, John J. 1995. A probable case of clicks influencing the sound patterns of some languages. Phonetica 52, 160170.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Pierrehumbert, Janet & Hirschberg, Julia. 1990. The meaning of intonational contours in the interpretation of discourse. In Cohen, Philip R., Morgan, Jerry L. & Pollack, Martha E. (eds.), Intentions in communication, 271311. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Roger, Derek & Bull, Peter (eds.). 1989. Conversation: An interdisciplinary perspective. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
Sacks, Harvey. 1984. Notes on methodology. In Atkinson & Heritage (eds.), 21–27.Google Scholar
Sacks, Harvey. 1992a. Lectures on conversation, vol. I. Oxford: Basil BlackwellGoogle Scholar
Sacks, Harvey. 1992b. Lectures on conversation, vol. II. Oxford: Basil BlackwellGoogle Scholar
Sacks, Harvey, Schegloff, Emanuel A. & Jefferson, Gail. 1974. A simplest systematics for the organization of turn-taking for conversation. Language 50 (4), 696735.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schegloff, Emanuel A. 1968. Sequencing in conversational openings. American Anthropologist 70, 10751095.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schegloff, Emanuel A. 1991. Reflections on talk and social structure. In Boden, Deirdre & Zimmerman, Don H. (eds.), Talk and social structure, 4470. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
Schegloff, Emanuel A. 2007. Sequence organization in interaction: A primer in conversation analysis, vol. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schegloff, Emanuel A. & Sacks, Harvey. 1973. Opening up closings. Semiotica VIII (4), 289327.Google Scholar
Schiffrin, Deborah. 1987. Discourse markers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schourup, Lawrence C. 1985. Common discourse particles in English conversation. New York: Garland.Google Scholar
Selting, Margret. 1996. On the interplay of syntax and prosody in the constitution of TCUs and turns in conversation. Pragmatics 6 (3), 357388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Selting, Margret. 2000. The construction of units in conversational talk. Language in Society 29, 477517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Selting, Margret & Couper-Kuhlen, Elizabeth (eds.). 2001. Studies in interactional linguistics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shriberg, Elizabeth. 1994. Preliminaries to a theory of speech disfluencies. Ph.D. dissertation, University of California Berkeley.Google Scholar
Shriberg, Elizabeth. 2001. To ‘errr’ is human: Ecology and acoustics of speech disfluencies. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 31 (1), 153169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Simpson, Adrian P. 2007. Acoustic and auditory correlates of non-pulmonic sound production in German. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 37 (2), 173182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stevens, Kenneth N. 1998. Acoustic phonetics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Swerts, Marc. 1998. Filled pauses as markers of discourse structure. Journal of Pragmatics 30 (4), 485496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tench, Paul. 1996. The intonation systems of English. London: Cassell.Google Scholar
Walker, Gareth. 2004. The phonetic design of turn endings, beginnings and continuations in conversation. Ph.D. dissertation, University of York.Google Scholar
Walker, Gareth. 2007. On the design and use of pivots in everyday conversation. Journal of Pragmatics 39 (12), 22172243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ward, Nigel. 2006. Non-lexical conversational sounds in American English. Pragmatics and Cognition 14 (1), 129182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wells, William H. G. & Macfarlane, Sarah. 1998. Prosody as an interactional resource: Turn-projection and overlap. Language and Speech 41, 265294.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wichmann, Anne. 2000. Intonation in text and discourse: Beginnings, middles and ends. Harlow: Longman, Pearson Education.Google Scholar
Wootton, Anthony J. 1989. Remarks on the methodology of conversation analysis. In Roger & Bull (eds.), 238–258.Google Scholar
Wrench, Alan A. & Scobbie, James M.. 2003. Categorising vocalisation of English /l/ using EPG, EMA and ultrasound. In Palethorpe, Sallyanne & Tabain, Marija (eds.), 6th International Seminar on Speech Production (ISSP, Sydney), 314319. CD-ROM.Google Scholar
Wright, Melissa. 2001. Conversational phonetics: The case of ‘and’. MA dissertation, University of York.Google Scholar
Wright, Melissa. 2002. Conversational phonetics: The case of ‘and’ and ‘but’. Presented at Colloquium of the British Association of Academic Phoneticians, Newcastle, UK, 25 March.Google Scholar
Wright, Melissa. 2005. Studies of the phonetics-interaction interface: Clicks and interactional structures in English Conversation. Ph.D. dissertation, University of York.Google Scholar
Wright, Melissa. 2011. The phonetics-interaction interface in the initiation of closings in everyday English telephone calls. Journal of Pragmatics 43, 10801099.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
31
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

On clicks in English talk-in-interaction
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

On clicks in English talk-in-interaction
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

On clicks in English talk-in-interaction
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *