This article provides an empirically grounded account of what happens when more persons than one talk at once in conversation. It undertakes to specify when such occurrences are problematic for the participants, and for the organization of interaction; what the features of such overlapping talk are; and what constraints an account of overlapping talk should meet. It describes the practices employed by participants to deal with such simultaneous talk, and how they form an organization of practices which is related to the turn-taking organization previously described by Sacks et al. 1974. This “overlap resolution device” constitutes a previously unexplicated component of that turn-taking organization, and one that provides solutions to underspecified features of the previous account.
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