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Reference: Taylor, Talbot J., (1982). Discontinuity in conversation speech. DPhil. University of Oxford.Citable link to this page:

 

Discontinuity in conversation speech Subtitle: An investigation of some theoretical problems and their analysis

Abstract: The occurrence of discontinuity in conversational speech raisesa variety of theoretical problems for the study of verbal communication.According to the dominant explanatory models of language,discontinuities in the form of pauses, self-corrections, repeats,false starts, and the like are errors'of language performance.Consequently, when, in - conversational speech, discontinuities dooccur, it is natural that questions should arise regarding (a) whythey occur and (b) given that they do occur, how speakers and hearersare able to deal with them. It is argued that no coherent answersmay be offered to these questions under the prevalent conceptualizationof discontinuity.As a feature of verbal performance, discontinuity has been studiedprimarily by researchers from the related disciplines of psychology,sociology, ethnomethodology, and discourse analysis. Although theexplanatory approaches differ greatly, there is an underlying presuppositionalunity to them. Whether discontinuity is studied as anindication of the speaker's cognitive processing, as a feature ofsocial differentiation, or as an essential aspect of the speaker andhearer's management of conversational interaction, it isalways assumed that discontinuities occur as the result of speakererror. This assumption, in turn, is shown to be derived from anunrecognised written-language (or 'scriptist') bias in the study ofverbal communication. This conceptual bias, it is argued, is ashared weakness in the otherwise differing theoretical approachesto the explanation of discontinuity in conversational speech.The theoretical discussion of the thesis is supplemented by anappendix containing a selection of transcribed examples of discontinuitiescompiled with the aid of a computer concordance program.These examples are used as comparative evidence throughout thecentral chapters of the thesis.

Type of Award:DPhil Level of Award:Doctoral Awarding Institution: University of Oxford Notes:The digital copy of this thesis has been made available thanks to the generosity of Dr Leonard Polonsky

Bibliographic Details

Issue Date: 1982Identifiers

Urn: uuid:0cd7e3d4-ab28-490b-89b5-96efb7313d53

Source identifier: 602367905 Item Description

Type: Thesis;

Language: eng Subjects: Conversation Tiny URL: td:602367905

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Author: Taylor, Talbot J. - institutionUniversity of Oxford facultyFaculty of Medieval and Modern Languages and Literature - - - - Biblio

Source: https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:0cd7e3d4-ab28-490b-89b5-96efb7313d53



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