|Author(s)||Hanneke Houtkoop, Harrie Mazeland|
|Title||Turns and discourse units in everyday conversation|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, Turn-taking, Discourse Units|
|Journal||Journal of Pragmatics|
Sacks, Schegloff and Jefferson (1974) have described how conversationalists construct turns at speaking and how they allocate them in a systematic way. In this paper, we shall describe how certain larger projects are produced. These larger projects include stories, jokes, extended descriptions, pieces of advice, and so on, and are here called Discourse Units (DUs). We shall distinguish between Closed DUs and Open DUs. Closed DUs are activities larger than one turn-constructional unit and are accomplished by a Primary Speaker holding the floor through the course of their production. We formulate some restrictions which operate on Sacks et al.'s turn-taking model when a Closed DU is being produced. Whereas closed DUs are projected as DUs from the beginning of their production, open DUs are not. They develop as a DU by virtue of negotiation on the type of conversational unit underway. That is to say, whether or not the turn will be built into a larger project is more dependent upon recipient as is the case for Closed DUs. We try to show that the recepient design of turn construction not only operates through syntactical projection of a possible completion point, but also action-sensitive devices have to be taken into account.