Abrupt-joins as a resource for the production of multi-unit, multi-action turns

J Local, G Walker

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This paper represents part of the output of an ongoing study of clusters of phonetic parameters in the management of talk-in-interaction. Here we report on the sequential organisation and phonetic form of abrupt-joins. By abrupt-join we mean to adumbrate a complex of recurrent phonetic events which attend a point of possible turn-completion, and the beginning of an immediately subsequent turn-constructional unit (TCU) produced by that same speaker. In doing an abrupt-join, the speaker can be seen to preempt the transition relevance and interactional implicativeness of the first unit. The phonetic features which constitute this practice include duration, rhythm, pitch, loudness and articulatory characteristics of both the end of the first unit and the beginning of the second. Abrupt-joins are a resource used in the building of a particular kind of multi-unit turn, where each unit performs a discrete action with the abrupt-join marking the juncture between them, with the subsequent talk changing the sequential trajectory projectable from the talk leading up to the abrupt-join. One clear distributional pattern emerges from the data: abrupt-joins occur regularly in closing-relevant and topic-transition sequences. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1375-1403
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004


  • phonetics
  • interaction
  • conversation analysis
  • topic-management
  • turn construction
  • rush-through

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