You are here: Home Publications The intersection of turn-taking and repair: The timing of other-initiations of repair in conversation

The intersection of turn-taking and repair: The timing of other-initiations of repair in conversation

Kendrick, K. H. (2015). The intersection of turn-taking and repair: The timing of other-initiations of repair in conversation. Frontiers in Psychology, 6: 250. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00250.
The transitions between turns at talk in conversation tend to occur quickly, with only a slight gap of approximately 100 to 300 ms between them. This estimate of central tendency, however, hides a wealth of complex variation, as a number of factors, such as the type of turns involved, have been shown to influence the timing of turn transitions. This article considers one specific type of turn that does not conform to the statistical trend, namely turns that deal with troubles of speaking, hearing, and understanding, known as other-initiations of repair. The results of a quantitative analysis of 169 other-initiations of repair in face-to-face conversation reveal that the most frequent cases occur after gaps of approximately 700 ms. Furthermore, other-initiations of repair that locate a source of trouble in a prior turn specifically tend to occur after shorter gaps than those that do not, and those that correct errors in a prior turn, while rare, tend to occur without delay. An analysis of the transitions before other-initiations of repair, using methods of conversation analysis, suggests that speakers use the extra time (i) to search for a late recognition of the problematic turn, (ii) to provide an opportunity for the speaker of the problematic turn to resolve the trouble independently, (iii) and to produce visual signals, such as facial gestures. In light of these results, it is argued that other-initiations of repair take priority over other turns at talk in conversation and therefore are not subject to the same rules and constraints that motivate fast turn transitions in general
About MPI

This is the MPI

The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

The institute is situated on the campus of the Radboud University. We participate in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and have particularly close ties to that institute's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. We also participate in the Centre for Language Studies. A joint graduate school, the IMPRS in Language Sciences, links the Donders Institute, the CLS and the MPI.

 

Street address
Wundtlaan 1
6525 XD Nijmegen
The Netherlands


Mailing address
P.O. Box 310
6500 AH Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Phone:   +31-24-3521911
Fax:        +31-24-3521213
E-mail:   


Public Outreach Officer
Charlotte Horn