Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders, Vol 4, No 1 (2013)

Turn-taking in Brazilian Sign Language: Evidence from overlap

Leland Emerson McCleary, Tarcísio de Arantes Leite
Issued Date: 20 Jun 2013


This study investigates the interactional skills of fluent sign language users, with special attention to contexts of overlapping talk. Data from semi-spontaneous conversations were analyzed from the video record, transcribed in ELAN, with tiers for non-manual signals and with a ‘gesture phase’ analysis of manual signs. Results show that signers closely coordinate their contributions in accordance with the sequential implicativeness of gesture phases. They deploy conventional resources similar to those described for spoken languages to resolve overlap quickly and efficiently. We show that signers, like speakers of oral languages, orient to ‘one party talks at a time’, and that the management of talk-in-interaction is achieved within a tightly organized system which includes resources traditionally associated with the ‘linguistic’, ‘paralinguistic/prosodic’, and ‘kinetic/gestural’ domains, thus possibly contributing to investigations of explicitly ad hoc and multimodal forms of communication and eventually to a reevaluation of what might legitimately be termed ‘talk’.

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DOI: 10.1558/jircd.v4i1.123


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