|Title||Sequence Initiation or Self-Talk? Commenting on the Surroundings While Mucking out a Sheep Stable|
|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 conversational 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 recipients’ 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.