|Title||Sequence Initiation or Self-Talk? Commenting on the Surroundings While Mucking out a Sheep
|Tag(s)||EMCA, Sequence-initiating actions, Self-talk, Estonian|
|Journal||Research on Language & Social Interaction|
This study investigates comments on the physical surroundings while a group of people are shoveling dung in a sheep stable. In this setting, where the auditory space is mostly open for talk, some comments launch a conversa- tional sequence, while others are treated as self-talk. The article discusses how the speaker’s body posture, speech volume, and gaze, as well as the nature of the referent, contribute to attracting a response. Comments treated as self-talk are typically uttered with low volume, while the speaker is bending forwards with his or her gaze toward the ground. Comments that launch a sequence and achieve a focused interaction are instead spoken out loud, with the speaker’s body oriented toward the other participants, and deploy the recipi- ents’ current attention focus. Furthermore, the timing of the comment just before an upcoming activity junction from shoveling to a brief rest increases the chances of a conversational sequence being developed. The data are in Estonian with an English translation.