How speakers of different languages extend their turns: Word linking and glottalisation in French and German

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A speaker who issues a confirming turn starting with particles like yes, oui, ja, and so on, may mean to extend it and provide further material. This study shows that French and German speakers employ the same phonetic contrast to indicate the nature of that turn continuation. In spite of the typological difference between the German use of glottalization and the French use of linking phenomena for word boundaries involving word-initial vowels, speakers of both languages exploit this contrast systematically in their design of multiunit turns. Initial confirmations are joined directly to subsequent vowel-fronted turn components when speakers respond with an internally cohesive multiunit confirming turn. The components are separated by glottalization when responses involve multiple actions or departures from a trajectory projected by the turn-initial confirmation. This is further evidence that sound patterns shape interaction and are not solely determined by language-specific phonologies. Data are in French and German with English translation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-147
Number of pages20
JournalResearch on Language and Social Interaction
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2016

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