Holding gestures across turns: Moments to generate shared understanding.

Rein Ove Sikveland, Richard Albert Ogden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A norm in co-speech gesture is that a speaker only gestures while speaking. In this paper, we consider how participants in Norwegian conversation use gestures held beyond the end of a turn-at-talk as a way to handle issues of shared understanding. Analysis combining the techniques of conversation analysis, linguistic, phonetic and visual analysis, demonstrates how participants use and orient to such held gestures as displays of occasions where participants do not (yet) have a shared understanding. The paper discusses how understanding is explicitly brought forward in a sequence of turns, and how shared understandings are reached and marked through a combination of spoken and gestural elements. The paper emphasises the temporal progressivity of talk, the delicate timing of speech and gesture relative to one another, and the participants’ collaboration in successfully achieving and maintaining intersubjectivity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-199
Number of pages34
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventLaboratory Phonology 10 - Albuquerque, United States
Duration: 8 Jul 201010 Jul 2010


  • intersubjectivity
  • turn construction
  • social action
  • gesture hold
  • interactional gesture
  • turn-taking
  • understanding
  • enchrony

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