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Journal Article

How speakers continue with talk after a lapse in conversation


Hoey,  Elliott
International Max Planck Research School for Language Sciences, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
Language and Cognition Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Hoey, E. (2018). How speakers continue with talk after a lapse in conversation. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 51(3), 329-346. doi:10.1080/08351813.2018.1485234.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-5A07-2
How do conversational participants continue with turn-by-turn talk after a momentary lapse? If all participants forgo the option to speak at possible sequence completion, an extended silence may emerge that can indicate a lack of anything to talk about next. For the interaction to proceed recognizably as a conversation, the postlapse turn needs to implicate more talk. Using conversation analysis, I examine three practical alternatives regarding sequentially implicative postlapse turns: Participants may move to end the interaction, continue with some prior matter, or start something new. Participants are shown using resources grounded in the interaction’s overall structural organization, the materials from the interaction-so-far, the mentionables they bring to interaction, and the situated environment itself. Comparing these alternatives, there’s suggestive quantitative evidence for a preference for continuation. The analysis of lapse resolution shows lapses as places for the management of multiple possible courses of action. Data are in U.S. and UK English.