Timing of visual bodily behavior in repair sequences: Evidence from three languages
Floyd, S., Manrique, E., Rossi, G., & Torreira, F.
Timing of visual bodily behavior in repair sequences: Evidence from three languages. Discourse Processes, 53
(3), 175-204. doi:10.1080/0163853X.2014.992680.
This article expands the study of other-initiated repair in conversation—when one party
signals a problemwith producing or perceiving another’s turn at talk—into the domain
of visual bodily behavior. It presents one primary cross-linguistic finding about the
timing of visual bodily behavior in repair sequences: if the party who initiates repair
accompanies their turn with a “hold”—when relatively dynamic movements are
temporarily andmeaningfully held static—this positionwill not be disengaged until the
problem is resolved and the sequence closed. We base this finding on qualitative and
quantitative analysis of corpora of conversational interaction from three unrelated languages representing two different modalities: Northern Italian, the Cha’palaa language of Ecuador, and Argentine Sign Language. The cross-linguistic similarities
uncovered by this comparison suggest that visual bodily practices have been
semiotized for similar interactive functions across different languages and modalities
due to common pressures in face-to-face interaction.