Sie sind hier: FRIAS School of Language & … Veranstaltungen Workshop "Sequence, sense, and …

Workshop "Sequence, sense, and space: The culture of turn-taking in Wolof multiparty conversations"

Wann 06.05.2010
von 10:00 bis 12:00
Wo FRIAS, Albertstr. 19, kleiner Seminarraum/Nordflügel
Teilnehmer nach Anmeldung
Termin übernehmen vCal


Veranstaltet von Dr. Christian Meyer (Bielefeld)


In recent years, some scholars claimed with increasing emphasis that the classical turn-taking system (Sacks et al. 1974) is genuine to the human species in general and not an object of cultural variation. The assumption of an orderly, for the participants, intelligible and finely coordinated sequential design of conversation is one of the most fundamental premises of conversation analysis. Especially occasional ethnographic accounts of long moments of silence within conversations as well as of unruly simultaneous talk have therefore been a constant matter of argument for conversation analysts. However, the opinions about the precise features of the species- specific human turn-taking system differ considerably even between the scholars who advocate its universality. Whereas some put it in more general terms (Levinson 2006), others proclaim detailed candidate universals (Schegloff 2006).

The present paper contributes to this discussion drawing on the analysis of multiparty conversations among the Wolof of Northwestern Senegal. The analysis reveals that these conversations depart in some fairly fundamental ways from the classical turn-taking system. However, these departures are not disorderly but rather affirm at a more basic level the orderliness of human conversation. Thus, as my empirical data show, there seem to exist particular conditions for some of the assumptions of conversation analysis that are culture specific rather than species specific. These culture specific conditions are related to Wolof concepts of the body, of space, and the self.