Turn-Taking in Human Communicative Interaction
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Turn-Taking in Human Communicative Interaction

By Judith Holler
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Book Description

The core use of language is in face-to-face conversation. This is characterized by rapid turn-taking. This turn-taking poses a number central puzzles for the psychology of language. Consider, for example, that in large corpora the gap between turns is on the order of 100 to 300 ms, but the latencies involved in language production require minimally between 600ms (for a single word) or 1500 ms (for as simple sentence). This implies that participants in conversation are predicting the ends of the incoming turn and preparing in advance. But how is this done? What aspects of this prediction are done when? What happens when the prediction is wrong? What stops participants coming in too early? If the system is running on prediction, why is there consistently a mode of 100 to 300 ms in response time? The timing puzzle raises further puzzles: it seems that comprehension must run parallel with the preparation for production, but it has been presumed that there are strict cognitive limitations on more than one central process running at a time. How is this bottleneck overcome? Far from being 'easy' as some psychologists have suggested, conversation may be one of the most demanding cognitive tasks in our everyday lives. Further questions naturally arise: how do children learn to master this demanding task, and what is the developmental trajectory in this domain? Research shows that aspects of turn-taking such as its timing are remarkably stable across languages and cultures, but the word order of languages varies enormously. How then does prediction of the incoming turn work when the verb (often the informational nugget in a clause) is at the end? Conversely, how can production work fast enough in languages that have the verb at the beginning, thereby requiring early planning of the whole clause? What happens when one changes modality, as in sign languages -- with the loss of channel constraints is turn-taking much freer? And what about face-to-face communication amongst hearing individuals -- do gestures, gaze, and other body behaviors facilitate turn-taking? One can also ask the phylogenetic question: how did such a system evolve? There seem to be parallels (analogies) in duetting bird species, and in a variety of monkey species, but there is little evidence of anything like this among the great apes. All this constitutes a neglected set of problems at the heart of the psychology of language and of the language sciences. This research topic welcomes contributions from right across the board, for example from psycholinguists, developmental psychologists, students of dialogue and conversation analysis, linguists interested in the use of language, phoneticians, corpus analysts and comparative ethologists or psychologists. We welcome contributions of all sorts, for example original research papers, opinion pieces, and reviews of work in subfields that may not be fully understood in other subfields.

Table of Contents
  • Cover
  • Frontiers Copyright Statement
  • Turn-taking in human communicative interaction
  • Table of Contents
  • Editorial: Turn-Taking in Human Communicative Interaction
    • Foundations of Turn-Taking
    • Signals and Mechanisms for Prediction and Timing
    • Planning Next Turns in Conversation
    • Effects of Context and Function on Timing
    • Turn-Taking in Signed Languages
    • Development of Turn-Taking Skills
    • Funding
    • References
  • Timing in turn-taking and its implications for processing models of language
    • 1. Introduction: Why Turn-Taking in Conversation is Important for the Psychology of Language
    • 2. Turn-Taking as a System: Research from Conversation Analysis
    • 3. An Alternative Signaling Approach
    • 4. Challenges to the Standard Model
    • 5. Statistical Studies of Corpora
      • 5.1. Distribution of Gaps
      • 5.2. Overlap
        • 5.2.1. Method
        • 5.2.2. Findings
    • 6. Psycholinguistics
      • 6.1. `Proto-Conversation' and Turn Taking in Human Development
      • 6.2. Predictive Language Comprehension
      • 6.3. Latencies in Language Production
      • 6.4. Experimental Studies of Turn-Taking
      • 6.5. The Core Psycholinguistic Puzzle
    • 7. Models of Turn-taking
      • 7.1. The Standard Model and Alternatives
      • 7.2. Toward an Adequate Psycholinguistic Model of Turn Taking protect -- Cognitive Processes in the Responder1
    • 8. Conclusion
    • Acknowledgment
    • References
  • The use of content and timing to predict turn transitions
    • Introduction
    • The Nature of Turn Transitions
    • The Processes Underlying Turn Transition
    • Managing Fluent Turn-Transition Requires Predicting Both Speech Content and Timing
    • Using Prediction-by-Simulation in Turn Transition
    • How does the Addressee Entrain Timing with the Speaker?
    • Preparing an Appropriate Response
    • How Addressees Take the Floor
    • Implications and Discussion
    • Acknowledgments
    • References
  • Social coordination in animal vocal interactions. Is there any evidence of turn-taking? The starling as an animal model
    • Introduction
      • The Human ``bases''
      • Coordination in Mammals and Birds' Vocal Interactions
        • Testing Turn Taking in an Animal Model: The Starling
      • Promoting or Not Turn-taking: Does the Social Situation Influence Temporal Features of Song?
        • Methods
        • Results
          • Individual adaptations to the social situation (Appendix 1 in Supplementary Material)
          • Isolation vs. field recordings (tab2Table 2 and Appendix 1 in Supplementary Material)
          • The importance of colony size (tab2Table 2 and fig2Figure 2)
        • Conclusion
      • Are There Temporal Regularities in Starling Vocal Interactions?
        • Methods
        • Results
        • Conclusion
      • Developmental Issues: How Do Young Birds Acquire an Appropriate Singing Style?
        • Normal Development
        • Disturbed Ontogeny: The Importance of Adults
          • Sensory and physical deprivation of experience with adults
          • Varying the type of contact with adults (Poirier et al., 2004)
          • Testing the impact of the adult-young ratio (Bertin et al., 2007)
      • Brain Mechanisms and Plasticity: The Processing of Song Categories and the Effect of Experience
        • Song Processing in Wild Caught Adults (George et al., 2004, 2008)
        • Conclusion
        • How Can Social Experience During Development Affect Brain Processing of Song Categories? (Cousillas et al., 2004, 2006; George et al., 2010)
        • Conclusion
      • Turn-taking as a Social Adaptation: An Evolutionary Process?
        • Methods
        • Results
    • Conclusion
    • Acknowledgments
    • Supplementary Material
    • References
  • Corrigendum: Social coordination in animal vocal interactions. Is there any evidence of turn-taking? The starling as an animal model
  • Anticipation in turn-taking: mechanisms and information sources
    • Introduction
    • Experiment 1
      • Materials and methods
        • Compliance with ethics guidelines
        • Participants
        • Stimulus collection
        • Design
        • Procedure
        • Results and discussion
    • Experiment 2
      • Materials and methods
        • Participants
        • Stimuli and design
        • Procedure
        • Results and discussion
    • Experiment 3
      • Materials and methods
        • Participants
        • Stimuli
        • Design
        • Procedure
        • Results and discussion
    • General discussion
    • Author contributions
    • Acknowledgment
    • References
  • Unaddressed participants' gaze in multi-person interaction: optimizing recipiency
    • Introduction
      • The timing of turns at talk
      • Third-person perspective eye-tracking studies on turn-taking
      • Methodological considerations
      • The present study: investigating eye movements and turns at talk in situ
    • Materials and methods
      • Participants and corpus
      • Laboratory set-up and technical equipment
      • Procedure
      • Analysis
        • Question-response sequences
        • Points of possible completion
        • Eye gaze
        • Statistical analysis
    • Results
      • Eye movements timed with respect to the end of turns
      • Eye movements timed with respect to the first possible completion
      • Unaddressed participants' eye movements and addressed participants' responses
    • Discussion
      • Unaddressed participants track current speakers
      • Unaddressed participants shift their gaze before turn ends
      • Unaddressed participants shift their gaze at possible turn completions
      • Optimizing recipiency
    • Conclusion
    • Acknowledgments
    • References
  • Action-projection in Japanese conversation: topic particles wa, mo, and tte for triggering categorization activities
    • Introduction
      • The Phenomenon
      • Japanese Conversational Grammar and Projectability
      • Previous Research on wa
      • Membership Categorization and Set Theory
    • Basic Categorization/Set-theoretic Actions Performed by Topic Particles
    • Wa for Triggering Anticipatory Completions and Preemptive Actions
    • Wa Used to Mobilize a ``Search Procedure'' for a Potential MCD when there is Ambiguous or Minimal Contextual Information
    • Concluding Comments
    • Acknowledgments
    • Supplementary Material
    • References
  • Word-by-word entrainment of speech rhythm during joint story building
    • Introduction
    • Methods
      • Participants, Apparatus, Materials
      • Procedure
      • Analysis
    • Results
      • General
      • Stability and Entrainment
    • Discussion
    • Acknowledgments
    • Supplementary Material
    • References
  • The effects of processing and sequence organization on the timing of turn taking: a corpus study
    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Turn Taking in Interaction
    • 3. Cognitive Planning and Comprehension
      • 3.1. Turn Length
      • 3.2. Frequency
      • 3.3. Concreteness
      • 3.4. Surprisal
      • 3.5. Syntactic Complexity
    • 4. Sequence Organization
      • 4.1. Adjacency Pairs
      • 4.2. Response Tokens
      • 4.3. Laughter
    • 5. Interactions between Processing and Sequence Organization
    • 6. Materials and Methods
      • 6.1. Calculating Floor Transfer Offset
      • 6.2. Sequence Organization Data
      • 6.3. Linking the Switchboard to Processing Measures
      • 6.4. Random Forests
    • 7. Results
      • 7.1. Results for Measures of Processing
        • 7.1.1. Turn Duration and Rate
        • 7.1.2. Syntactic Complexity
        • 7.1.3. Concreteness
      • 7.2. Results for Measures of Sequence Organization
        • 7.2.1. Initiating and Responding Actions
        • 7.2.2. Backchannels
        • 7.2.3. Positive Responses
      • 7.3. Other Effects
    • 8. Model Without Turn-Preserving Placeholders
    • 9. Discussion
    • 10. Conclusion
      • 10.1. Human Search and Animal Research
      • 10.2. Data Sharing
    • Author Contributions
    • Funding
    • Acknowledgements
    • Supplementary Material
    • References
  • Breathing for answering: the time course of response planning in conversation
    • Introduction
    • Materials and Methods
      • Material and Data Extraction
      • Coding and Measures
        • Data Extraction
        • Inbreath Annotation
      • Statistical Procedure
    • Results
      • Pre-Utterance Inbreaths and Answer Duration
      • Inbreath Characteristics and Answer Duration
      • Pre-Utterance Inbreaths and Answer Latency
      • Timing of Answerer's Inbreaths Relative to Question Ends
    • Discussion
    • Acknowledgments
    • References
  • The intersection of turn-taking and repair: the timing of other-initiations of repair in conversation
    • Introduction
      • The Timing of Turn-Taking
      • The Timing of Other-Initiations
      • The Practices of Other-Initiation
      • The Motivations for Delay Before Other-Initiations
      • The Current Investigation
    • Materials and Methods
      • Data
      • Identification of OIR
      • Open and Specific OIRs
      • Candidate Repair Solutions and Other-Corrections
      • OIRs in and After Next Position
      • Identification of Polar Questions
      • Measurements and Statistics
    • Results
      • The Timing of Other-Initiations of Repair
        • OIRs and Responses to Polar Questions
        • Open and Specific OIRs
        • Corrections and Non-Corrections
      • What do Speakers Use the Transition Spaces Before OIRs to Accomplish?
        • Searching for Late Recognition
        • Providing an Opportunity for Self-Initiated Repair
        • Producing Visual Signals
    • Discussion
      • The Motivations for and Consequences of Delay Before Other-Initiations of Repair
      • The Preferences for Self-Correction and Specificity
      • The Intersection of Turn-Taking and Repair
    • Acknowledgments
    • References
  • Expanded transition spaces: the case of Garrwa
    • Introduction
      • Rules, Gaps, and Lapses
    • Data and Methods
    • Results
      • Orienting to the Rules of Turn-Taking
      • Accounting for Long Silences and Expanded Transition Spaces
        • Silences After Selection of Next Speaker
        • Silences Before Self-Selection by Next Speaker
      • Extended Gaps in Conversation in Other Contexts
    • Discussion
    • Acknowledgments
    • References
  • Experience sharing, emotional reciprocity, and turn-taking
    • Sequentiality and Concurrency in Human Social Interaction
    • Hypothesis I: Experience Sharing is in Tension with the Sequential Framework of Turn-Taking
    • Hypothesis II: The Sequential Framework of Turn-Taking Serves Experience Sharing
    • Consequences for the Study of Turn-Taking
    • Acknowledgments
    • References
  • Turn-timing in signed conversations: coordinating stroke-to-stroke turn boundaries
    • Introduction
    • Materials and Methods
      • The NGT Interactive Corpus
      • Identification of Question–Answer Sequences
      • Movement Phase Coding
      • Phonetic Measures
    • Results
      • The Timing of Question–Answer Sequences
      • The Proportion of Overlapping and Delayed Turn Transitions
      • Launching Utterance Articulation in Sign
      • Turn-Timing in Dyadic vs. Triadic Interactions
    • Discussion
    • Acknowledgments
    • References
  • The management of turn transition in signed interaction through the lens of overlaps
    • Introduction
    • Research on Turn-Taking and Overlap in Sign Language
      • The Lexical Unit in Sign Language
      • The Turn and Turn Construction Unit in Conversation Analysis and Sign Language Research
        • Turn and TCU in Classic CA
        • Turn and TCU in Sign Language Research
      • The Turn-Taking Machinery in Signed Languages
      • Overlaps in Spoken and Signed Interaction
    • Method
      • Participants and Data
      • Procedure and Analysis
        • Annotation
        • Analysis
    • Sequential Environments of Overlapping Signing
      • Simultaneous Signing at Places of Possible Completion
        • Overlapping a Current Signer's New Unit at Places of Possible Completion
        • Overlapping a Current Signer's Dependent Unit at Places of Possible Completion
      • Simultaneous Signing after Places of Possible Completion
      • Simultaneous Signing before Places of Possible Completion
        • Overlapping a Current Signer's Last Item of a Unit
        • Overlapping a Current Signer's Potentially Last Item of a Unit
      • Simultaneous Signing Within Units
    • Discussion
      • The Orderliness of Overlaps in Multi-Party Signed Interaction
      • Gradual Turn Endings and Smooth Turn Transitions
    • Acknowledgments
    • References
  • Suspending the next turn as a form of repair initiation: evidence from Argentine Sign Language
    • Introduction
    • Argentine Sign Language (LSA)
    • Data and Method
      • Coding
        • Identification and Coding of Other-initiated Repair (OIR)
        • Coding and Transcription of ``Freeze-look'' Cases
    • Results
      • Question-answer Sequences
        • Fitted Responses to Questions
        • Non-fitted Response
          • Non-response due to non-attendance
          • Non-fitted response with signs of ``word search''
          • Non-fitted response: on-record repair
    • Freeze-look: A Notable Absence of Response
      • Pursuit Cases: From Implicit to Explicit OIR
      • Timing of ``Freeze-looks''
    • Conclusion
    • Acknowledgments
    • Supplementary Material
    • References
  • Early development of turn-taking in vocal interaction between mothers and infants
    • Introduction
    • Materials and Methods
      • Participants
      • Apparatus and Procedure
      • Acoustic Analysis
        • Selection of the Audio Samples
        • Software
        • Coding of Vocalizations and Pauses
        • Coding of Turn-Taking Sequences
        • Acoustic Measures
        • Inter-Coder Reliability
      • Statistics
    • Results
      • Vocal Production
        • Infant Vocalizations
        • Maternal Vocalizations
        • Vocalizations Involving Overlap
        • Latched Turns
      • Pauses
        • Within-Speaker Pauses
        • Switching Pauses
      • Turn-Taking Sequences
    • Discussion
    • Acknowledgments
    • References
  • Early developmental changes in the timing of turn-taking: a longitudinal study of mother–infant interaction
    • Introduction
    • Materials and Methods
      • Participants
      • Procedure and Design
      • Apparatus
      • Transcription
    • Results
      • Overlap
      • Gap
      • Reciprocity: Do Infants Equally Structure the Interaction?
    • General Discussion
      • Overlap
      • Gap
      • Reciprocity
    • Acknowledgments
    • References
  • Turn-taking: a case study of early gesture and word use in answering WHERE and WHICH questions
    • Introduction
      • Gestures in Young Children
      • Where and Which Questions
    • Materials and Methods
      • Coding
    • Results
    • Discussion
      • Recognizing and Retrieving Words
      • What Role does Articulation Play?
      • From Answering Questions to Turn-Taking and Interaction
    • Acknowledgments
    • References
  • The use of intonation for turn anticipation in observed conversations without visual signals as source of information
    • Introduction
    • Materials and Methods
      • Participants
      • Apparatus and Stimuli
      • Procedure
      • Data Analysis
    • Results
      • Gaze Latency
      • Distribution and Duration of Fixations
      • Occurrence Rate of Anticipatory and Random Gaze Shifts
    • Discussion
      • Children's and Adults' Cue Use for Turn Anticipation
      • Exceptional Turn Anticipation in 1-Year-Olds
      • Ecological Validity of Puppet Conversations
    • Conclusion
    • Acknowledgments
    • References
  • Dutch and English toddlers' use of linguistic cues in predicting upcoming turn transitions
    • Introduction
    • Experiment 1
      • Materials and Methods
        • Participants
        • Apparatus
        • Procedure
        • Audio Stimuli
          • Target utterances
          • Conversation design
          • Stimulus preparation
          • Stimulus pre-testing
        • Video Stimuli
        • Data Pre-Processing
      • Results
        • Pre-Analysis: Random Anticipatory Looking
        • Lexicosyntactic and Prosodic cues
        • Relative Weight of Lexicosyntactic and Prosodic Cues
        • Speaker Change or Speaker Continuation
      • Discussion
    • Experiment 2
      • Materials and Methods
        • Participants
        • Apparatus and Procedure
        • Materials
          • Target sentences
          • Conversation and video construction
        • Data Pre-Processing and Analysis
      • Results
        • Pre-Analysis: Random Anticipatory Looking
        • Lexicosyntactic and Prosodic Cues
        • Relative Weight of Lexicosyntactic and Prosodic Cues
        • Speaker Change or Speaker Continuation
      • Discussion
    • General Discussion
      • Lexicosyntactic vs. Prosodic Cues
      • Turn-Projection in a More Natural Context
    • Acknowledgments
    • References
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