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Chapter 1 LOCAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM Introduction Chapter 1, entitled Local Management System, offers a brief view over some

of the most important features belonging to the system of turn taking in conversation, which is vital in such encounters. There is a model proposed for the turn taking organization and several examples are given in order to support the theoretical findings. The results of this short examination show that a model for turn-taking in conversation can be characterized as locally managed, partly-administered, interactionally controlled and sensitive to recipient design. The chapter begins with presentation of conversation in general and theoretical terms, continues with an introduction to turn-taking system and with several short examples, excerpts taken from different types of conversation. A next step is presenting the rules that govern the allocation of turns with specific examples for each of them. Turn allocational techniques and features of repair mechanism are discussed in the second part of the chapter. The aim of this chapter is to consider a simplest systematics for the organization of turn-taking in conversation in which certain rules (discussed later in the chapter) are applied. Also, the section will show how this organization deals with obvious and less obvious facts, regarding the structure and importance. In these types of conversations (meetings, interviews or debates), the size of turns and the ordering of turns are very well established. This feature clearly specifies that there are used different types of turn taking and that conversation occupies a central position. Another particular feature is that turns are valued or avoided and that the distribution of turn taking is made among parties and regarded as economy. This aspect of economy will influence the distribution of turns. Small group conversations have raised questions among investigators of the turn taking system and have been closely examined. Anthropologists have also shown a certain interest for this system but they analyzed it so they can observe the stratification

or the legal system and they didnt see in turn taking a central phenomenon in its own rights. The reason why turn taking system has been studied is due to sociological reasons. The concern for the organization of turn taking has the following base: turn taking has become vital for conversation and it is very clear that, most of the time, one party talks at a time. Although speakers change, transitions are not previously determined and the size of the turns is not pre-established; for a conversation to be clear there is one speaker at a time. These facts are common to most of the conversations, without taking into consideration the special features which characterize particular contexts. Another element, important in forming the base of turn taking organization is that the characterization of turn-taking could be developed and could lead to a context free and context sensitivity. A conversation is always submitted to several sets of circumstances, according to the participants but this doesnt necessarily define that conversation as particular. 1.1 Turn taking in conversation Conversation can contain a vast range of situations, interactions, persons or identities through which operates and is sensitive to and it can also deal with change of situation within a situation (Sacks, Schegloff and Jefferson, 1974:699). In order to do so, the organization of conversation must have a formal apparatus which is context free and is sensitive and able to show it to various parameters of social reality in a local context. Conversation must contain a type of organization that is context free and context sensitive and has been decided that turn-taking has all these requirements, which apply both to common conversation and particular contexts as well. Turn taking is generally considered to be a basic form of the organization of conversation in the way that, regardless of the variations in number of parties or topic, it maintains its importance and is invariant to all the external changes. A model of organization should fit facts of variability in order to be context sensitive and also to accommodate several facts, which are present in most of the conversation. Common features are that speaker change always occurs, that mainly one person speaks at a time and, although there might be more than one speaker, these occurrences are brief. Transition is another characteristic of conversation and can be

made without gaps or overlaps but most of the transitions occur with slight gap or overlap. The turns are not fixed and neither is the turn size or the length of the conversation. The subject of the conversation, the distribution of turns or the number of parties is not pre-established. Talk can be continuous or discontinuous and there are turnallocational techniques that are used- the current speaker selects the next speaker or the next speaker self selects in order to join the conversation. Various turn constructional unites are used, such as when turns are either one word long or sentential. There are also repair mechanism used to deal with errors and violations of certain rules, such as turn taking or gaps. There are empirical features of a conversation and are the most important. (Sacks, Schegloff and Jefferson, 1974:696) 1.2 A Simplest Systematics The turn taking system for conversation can be described in terms of two components and several rules. The two components are: the turn constructional component and the turn allocational one. The first one deals with various unit-types with which a speaker can construct a turn. Such unit types include sentential, phrasal or lexical constructions. The second component deals with turn allocational techniques, which can be grouped in those in which turns are allocated by current speaker and those in which a next turn is allocated by self selection. Excerpt 1 1 2. 3 4 Sara: Ben, you want som ( Ben: Well allright Ill have a, (( pause)) Sara: Bill: Bill you want some? No, [Schenkein:II:49] In excerpt 1, the next turn is allocated by the current speaker (the turn is allocated by Sara who self selects). Excerpt 2 1 Sy: See Death va Salesman las night? )?

2 3 4 5 6

Jim: Sy: Jim: Sy: Jay:

No (( pause)) Never see(h)n it? No Ever seen it? Yes [Adato:2:9]

In Excerpt 2, Sy, the speaker, selects Ben and Jay as next speakers and his turn which is self selected. The first turn involves a glance selected recipient while the second and third one are lexically accomplished due to the use of never and ever. Excerpt 3 is a typical example of self selection: Excerpt 3 1 2 3 Jim: Any ayou guys read that story about Walter Mitty? Mm hmm [GTS:5:25] 1.3 Rules governing the allocation of turns There is also a set of rules which constitutes the basics for turn construction, dealing with allocations of turn and transfer in order to avoid, as much as possible gap and overlap. (Sacks, Schegloff and Jefferson, 1974: 704) Rule 1 a is that, in the case of a current speaker selects next speaker situation, the next speaker is obliged to take the next turn to speak- a privilege that no other party has this right and obligation. An example of this rule is: Excerpt 4 1 2 3 Ava: He, hes n Jo were like on the outs, yih know? (0.7) Ava: Bee: So uh, They always are(hh)hhh [TG:JFr:20] Ken: I did, Roger:

Rule 1 b is when no current speaker selects next , so that self-selection or the next speaker may continue its turn until another self selects. Excerpt 5 1 2 3 4 5 Claire: So then we were worse o-n she an she went down four, (0.5) Claire: But uhm (1.5) Claire: Uh Chloe: Well then it was her fault Claire, Claire: Yeah she said one no trump, and I said Two, an then she went back t two [Ladies:2:2:3:14] Situation b occurs when situation a fails to do so. The second option applies if the first option hasnt been implied. Therefore, situation a) exists in accordance to situation b) but independent of it. Rule 1 c occurs when the turn-so-far is constructed as not to involve the use of a current speaker selects next technique, then current speaker may but need not continue, unless another self-selects. Such an example is excerpt 6. Excerpt 6 1 2 3 4 5 Roger: Thats a joke that police force. They gotta hundred cops around the guy En so(h)me guy walks in and says Im gonna shoot you and shoots him. Roger: :hhmhhh heh Roger: En its the presidents assasion y know, (0.9) Roger: Theyre wonder ful Louise: Hm- Now theyre not even sure [GTS:1:2:86] Rule 2 happens when, if at the initial transition-relevance place of an initial turnconstructional unit, neither 1a nor 1b has operated and following the provision of 1c, current speaker has continued, then the rule-set a-c re-applies at the next transition-

relevance place and recursively, at each next transition-relevance place, until transfer is effected. (Sacks, Schegloff and Jefferson, 1974: 704) These rules provide an ordering in a group. If these techniques werent ordered and if there were two rules used at the same time, it will lead to more than one party speaking at a time. By these means, minimization of gap and overlap is realized in two ways: one localizes the problem while the other addresses it in its localized forms. These rules eliminate gap and overlap in almost all the situations. Although the first rule may occurs and should occur at the beginning of a conversation, the second rule, the allocational technique, cannot appear until the first possible transition. Self selection technique is conditioned by the non-use of current selects next. Therefore, self selection may not be exercised until the first transition relevance place. Current speaker may continue if self selection is not done. The turn taking rules provide the localization of gap and overlap and the rest of the turns have a systematic base. There are some accounts that occur in most of the conversations: speaker change occurs or recurs- turn taking system makes it possible but not automatic. The possibility of speaker change system is possible within any single turn construction and for each new turn. Speaker change is not automatic because at any transition relevance place, the first two options mentioned above may not appear while the third rule may. As long as this combination is applied at every transition relevance place, there will be a sequence without a speaker change. Another fact is that most of the time, there is only one party speaking. This is possible due to two features: the system allocates single turns to single speakers and all turn-transfer evolves around transition-relevance places. Occurrences of more than one speaker may occur but are brief. One reason why these occurrences are brief is the fact that the self selector that starts first encourages other possible self-selectors. This action offers space for overlap, leading to competing self-selectors who can start simultaneous. (Sacks, Schegloff and Jefferson, 1974: 706) Such an example is: Excerpt 7 1 Parky: Oo what they call them dogs that pull the sleighs. (0.5)

2 3 4 5 6

Parky: Old Man: Tourist: Old Man:

S-sledge dogs. (0.7) Oh uh : : uh Uh- Huskies.= Huskies, Mm, = Huskies. Yeh Huskies. [Labovs: Battersea:A:7]


Another fact that provides a basis for overlap is the possible completion or transitionrelevance places. Variation in the articulation of the projected last part will eventually produce overlap between the current and the next speaker; such is the case in Excerpt 8: Excerpt 8 1 2 3 B: A: Well if you knew my argument why did you bother to A: sk. Because Id like to defend my argument. [Crandall:2-15-68:93] Transitions are common- either they are made with no gap or overlap or with slight interruption. The latter forms the majority of transitions. Turns are not fixed and vary. This is possible due to a combination of another two features in the system: single turns are allocated at a time and the second feature is the fact that for each such allocation, there are a series of options provided each of it able to provide for different next speakers. In this way, the turn taking is locally controlled. The variation of turn is not, however, random. One condition must be that the current speaker must have selected, in some way, as next speaker. In excerpt 9 Roger, Jim and Al are having a conversation. Als first entry is not an effective turn but his second entry is shaped as an addition to others turn. Excerpt 9

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Roger: Jim: Roger: Jim: All: Roger: Jim: Roger: Al: Jim: Roger: Jim:

(( To Jim)) Are you just agreeing because you feel you wanna uh Hm? You just agreeing? What the hells that. Its- Agree ing? Agreeing. Agree::n Yeah. With us. Just going along with us. No. Saying yes, yes hehheh hh hehhh hh hehheh hh Well, i-i-its-its true. Everything he sai(h)d [GTS:2:2:70]

The variability of turns depends on two features of the system: the first one is the availability of different unit-types and the possibility of a current speaker, freely selected. The second feature accounts for the possibility that any current speaker is able to produce more than a single instance of a unit-type. This feature proves that the system doesnt define a minimal turn size. Another fact of the turn taking system is that the length of a conversation is not pre-defined; in the case of closing a conversation, there are other facts, different from the ones of the turn taking system. One such example would be the fact that the closing of a conversation is the result of internal developing Another unfixed feature is the conversation itself: what is being said hasnt been pre-established. We dont include here debates or a ceremony where what is said is specified in advance or the turns are clearly defined. The turn-taking organization for conversation doesnt constrain what is to be said. The rules that exist in the system refer to turns and not to the content of the conversation. For example, first turns takes greetings; next turns might be constrained by prior turns. The current speaker selects next technique cannot, however, be used in any utterance. There are several utterances-types that must be used in order to accomplish a selection. No party is constrained to use the current speaker selects next technique. (Sacks, Schegloff and

Jefferson, 1974: 709-710). Relative distribution of turns is another feature that is not specified in advance. Rule one allows current speaker to select any other party as next speaker while rule two allows any party, other than the current speaker to self select as next speaker. This means that any current non-speaker is potential next speaker. The number of parties can also vary, in the same way the length of a conversation varies. The turn-taking system is build to have two turns at a time, current and next, without restrictions on the number of participating parties. Because it doesnt provide for a number of participants, the system is compatible with varying numbers of participants within a single conversation. Although there are no restrictions regarding the number of participants, the system works better with smaller numbers. An explanation would be that the rule set refers to only two speakers-the current one and the next one. The turn order bias selects just prior to current to be next. In two-party conversation, all the parties are comprised to the conversation. With three parties, one might be left out while with four parties, two may be left out. The numbers of parties and turn order have differential relevancies. The partial ordering may be illustrated by reference to the number of parties parameter. For two parties, the relevant variability is not differential distribution of turns but differential turn size. The distribution of turns becomes relevant with three parties when next turn is no longer guaranteed or obliged for any current non-speaker. In two party conversations, a current non speaker is sure of being next speaker at some point while with three or more parties, this is no longer the case- if a current non-speaker, interested in speaking next doesnt self selects, there will be another current non-speaker which might self-select and in his turn select someone else. In three or more parties conversation, a current non speaker will be under the constraint to self select at first possible transition point and at each successive such point. The same pressure is on the current next speaker- if he chooses a certain next speaker, he must do so before the first possible transition. With four parties appears variability in the number of turn-taking systems in operation- mechanism that divide one conversation in several ones. For this mechanism to work there must be at least 4 parties. In this manner, there are enough parties for 2 distinct conversations. (Sacks, Schegloff and Jefferson, 1974: 712-713)

Such an example would be the below conversation among 4 friends, Ethel and Ben who are visiting Bill and Lori. Ethel, Ben and Max are visiting Bill and Lori. Theyve brought a lot of food, including a salami Max took out of his refrigerator. Ben is wearing his new combination eyeglasses/hearing-aid. At this point, Lori is offering drinks. Excerpt 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 way. Ethel: Ben: Ethel: Lori: Ben: Ethel: Ben: Ethel: Ben: Lori: Ben: Lori: Ben: I'll take scotch, if you have it, You're gonna have to quit yelling, you see, 0h lookit his ear! Oh that's right. You got- I know I noticed when he came in. Did you notice it? Yeah how do you like it. It's fantastic. Except the thing presses into his head. It- it hurts me terrible I have to go down and get it adjusted. Yeah. It kills me right here. It's, The glasses are tight I feel it. Max: Is the salami dry? What happens if somebody else Max: Bill, Max: Did it get dry? Bill: A little bit, Bill: But it's good that Bill: (Because) all the fat [Schenkein:II:13] Talk can be continuous (for a sequence of transition-relevance places (TRP), with minimal gap and overlapping) or discontinuous (occurs when at some transitionrelevance place, the current speaker stops and no speaker start or continues, thus leading to a space in conversation, called lapse. Such an example would be:

Lori: puts it on , Ben: Lori: Lori: Ben:

Nothin, Will I hear it? Will I hear it? You gotta put this inside the ear. And then will it be real loud?

21 Lori: evaporates.

Excerpt 11
1 2 3 4 J: Oh I could drive if you want me to. C: Well no Ill drive ( I don m//in) J: hhh (1.0) J: I meant to offah.

() [C-J:2] The rules that make talk continuous provide a procedure where a next speaker can be located at any transition-relevance place. The fact that these rules provide an option and not an obligation lead , sometimes, to the possibility of discontinuity- at any transition- place, if none of the options to speak has been employed, lapse and discontinuous talk can occur. For example, if rule 1a has been employed in a current turns talk, the possibility of a lapse immediately following it is excluded. A lapse occurs when rule 1a hasnt been employed and options of rule 1b and 1 c occur. That is when next turn is available to a self selecting next speaker; if no one self selects, then the current speaker can self select to continue. If the current speaker doesnt do so, then there is another open space for next turn and so on. Turn-allocationall techniques are being used and the way in which they operate in conversation can be made from obvious cases (such as the fact that an addressed question selects its addressee to speak next or if starting to speak when not selected, a party selects himself to speak). The allocation techniques, thus divide mainly in current selects next and self selection. The obvious case of an addressed question is a rare and special case such as greeting-greeting, invitation-acceptance/decline, complain/denial, compliment/rejection, challenge/rejection, etc The following 3 excerpts offer such examples: Excerpt 12 Complain/denial 1 2 Ken: Al: Hey yuh took my chair by the way an I dont think that was very nice I didn take yer chair, its my chair. [GTS:1]

Excerpt 13- Compliment/rejection 1 2 A: B; Im glad I have you for a friend. Thats because you dont have any others. [FN] Excerpt 14- Challenge/rejection 1 2 A: B: Its not break time yet. I finished my box, so shut up. [SU:1] (Sacks, Schegloff and Jefferson, 1974: 714-716] Another way of selecting next speaker without addressing is a variant of the question, a type of first pair part, namely repetitions of parts of a prior utterance with question intonation. Excerpt 15 1 2 3 Ben: Lori: Ben: They gotta- a garage sale. Where. On Third Avenue. [Schenkein:II:38] This question-type may be used without any affiliated technique for selecting a particular other and thereby selects the just prior speaker as next speaker. These repair technique is a central device that introduces the turn order bias. Various turn constructional units are employed for the production of the talk that occupies a turn. The turn taking system described is one for conversation, for talk in interaction. The turn constructional component of the turn-taking system identifies the types of turn-constructional units as sentential, clausal, phrasal and lexical-syntactically. The discussion of appositional and tag questions and the way in which the prospect of turn-transfer place conditions as between left embedded and conjoined sentence structures should indicate the deep ways in which syntax matters to turn-taking.


Features of Repair Mechanism A repair mechanism has been devised to deal with turn-taking errors and

violations. The various organizations operative in conversation are susceptible to errors, violations and troubles and repair devices are available. There are three most important features of repair mechanism. The first one concerns the turn taking problemsquestions such as who me?, the practices of etiquette concerning interruption and complaints about it, the use of interruption markers, repeats or recycles of parts of a turn overlapped by others or premature stopping by parties talking simultaneous are repair devices directed to troubles on the organization and distribution of turns to talk. An example would be: Excerpt 16 (Mother, daughter and a dor, previously referred to) M: L: M: L: L: M: L: Whad are you doin. Me? Yeh, you goina go ta sleep like that? Nothing No, hh heh hh hh With your rear end sticking up in the air, how you gonna sleep like that. heh heh Im n(h)oth(h) [L&M:7] The second feature deals with some of the mechanisms for turn-taking which are intrinsic to the very system whose troubles they repair. The basic device for repairing more than one at a time involves a procedure which is itself violative in turn taking terms, that is stopping a term before its possible completion point. This feature involves a transformation of a central feature of the turn-taking system and not some device external to it. The third feature refers to constrains of turn taking system regarding the repairs of other than a turn taking sort. Repairs by other than current speaker are not done until a turns completion. Most repair-correction of a word-is done within the turn in which the repairable occurs. When repair spills over the boundaries of a turn, such as when other than speaker initiates a repair in the turn following the one in which the repairable occurred, the sequence so initiated is organized by the same turn-taking system.

The compatibility of the model of turn-taking with the facts of repair is a dual character: the turn taking system lends itself to repairs of its troubles and the turn-taking system is a basic organizational device for the repair of any other troubles in conversation. The above mentioned features refer to the model of turn taking organization. There are a set of observable features in conversation with which a model of turn-taking should come to terms. It may be regarded as a model or, at least, as some major components of such a model. The model is not by any means perfect- it may be incorrect and insufficient but it is at least an appropriate model for turn-taking in conversation. (Sacks, Schegloff and Jefferson, 1974: 723-724) The features presented above show the Local Management System.The system deals with several kinds of problems: The first one would be the single transition at a time-it allocates a single turn at a time. The system deals also with several transitions: comprehensively- it deals with any of the transition possibilities whose use it organizes; exclusively- no other system can organize transitions independent of the turn-taking system and serially- in the order they come up. The model has also some major consequences, of general interest. The turn-taking system for conversation, in its turn-allocational techniques, builds in an intrinsic motivation for listening to all utterances in a conversation. In the variety of techniques for arriving at a next speaker it obliges any willing or potentially intending speaker to listen to and analyze each utterance across its delivery. This means that a willing next speaker, if selected to do so, must listen to each utterance and analyze it at least to find whether or not it selects him as a next speaker or any potentially intending speaker will have to listen to any utterance after which he might want to speak to find that no other has been selected as next speaker. Under either of these circumstances, a willing or potentially next speaker must listen through the end of the current utterance in order to effect turn-transfer properly and in order to secure the turn. Another consequence of the model is that turn-taking organization controls the understanding of utterances. For example, a participant, potentially willing to speak if selected to do so, will need to listen to any utterance to find if he is being selected to speak next. A current-selects-next technique is constituted by utterances such as

greetings, questions, insult, complains which the potentially next-speaker must analyze to find out if any of these select him as next speaker. Conclusion The purpose of this chapter was to present the features and the particularities of turn taking organization to show that the system is a local one, dealing with a local management system, which means that it operates local and is directed to next turn and next transition on a turn-by-turn basis. The system is local with respect to turn-order but also to turn-size. The turn taking system is a local management system in the sense that it operates in such a way as to allow turn-size and turn-order to vary and be under local management while still achieving both the aim of all turn-taking systems: the organization of n at a time and the aim of all turn-taking organizations for speechexchange systems. Turn-taking system is not used only in conversation but is also used in ceremonies, debates, meetings, press conferences, seminars, therapy sessions, interviews or trials. All these interactions are different from conversation and from each other. Generally, the allocational techniques for conversation provide for one turn-allocation at a time, for example, in debates, the ordering of turns is pre-allocated. In these types of interactions, the turns are allocated linearly. The linear array is one in which one polar type (conversations) involves one-turn-at-a-time allocation- the use of local allocational means. The other pole, (in debates) involves pre-allocation of all turns. The medial types (used in meetings) involve various mixes of pre-allocational and localallocational means. One pole, in local allocation of turns, permits maximization of the size of the set of potential speakers to each next turn but it doesnt permit the methodical achievement of an equalization of turns among potential speakers. The other pole (in preallocation of all turns) is designed to permit the equalization of turns, minimizing the sieze of the set of potential next speakers. Along turn-taking, a model of organization has been presented and also the two components of the turn-taking system- the turn constructional component and the turn alocational one. The rules of governing the allocation of turns and the features of Repair Mechanism also had an important role in the introductory chapter.