Schegloff (1982) and Listener Backchannels

Hi, everyone! Today’s #WeeklyWednesday is a presentation I gave recently for a Linguistics course in Discourse Analysis of Conversation at Georgetown University. I hope you enjoy seeing some of what I’m working on there!

Part of this course has included recording and transcribing an excerpt from a conversation that we were a part of (mine is with my fiancé). This assignment is applying a particular course reading to my conversational data. Below are some key points from the reading and a video of my presentation. I hope you enjoy it!


Schegloff (1982) Discourse as an interactional achievement: Some uses of ‘uh huh’ and other things that come between sentences”

Key Points:

* Conversation is an “achievement”

* Listener behavior influences speakers

   “‘Back-channel’ actions” (74)

       – Consider in context

       – Two generalizations:

1. Show that recipient understands that a turn is not finished and consents to the current speaker’s continuation (“continuers,” 81).

2. Waive an opportunity for repair, such as clarifying or disagreeing with the previous speech.

I will also be writing this up into a short paper, which I will share here shortly 🙂

Thank you for checking out my work, and I hope you enjoy this introduction to Schegloff (1982) and my studies in Linguistics!


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