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ERIC Number: EJ890129
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Dec
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 40
ISSN: ISSN-0190-2725
Opportunistic Interruptions: Interactional Vulnerabilities Deriving from Linearization
Gibson, David R.
Social Psychology Quarterly, v68 n4 p316-337 Dec 2005
Speaking involves "linearizing" a message into a string of words. This process leaves us vulnerable to being interrupted in such a way that the aborted turn is a misrepresentation of the intended message. Further, because we linearize our messages in standard ways, we are recurrently vulnerable to interruptions at particular turn-construction junctures, and consequently to recurrent types of self-misrepresentation. These vulnerabilities can be exploited strategically when an interrupter responds to the truncated turn in a way that might not have been possible if the turn had run to completion: I refer to interruptions of this sort as "opportunistic." I explore the connection between linearization and opportunistic interruptions using data from two institutional settings characterized by confrontational exchanges: Supreme Court oral arguments and Pentagon press briefings. The extracts illustrate how speakers open themselves to opportunistic interruptions through projection of incipient options, actions, reasons, consequences, opinions, and restrictions. (Contains 1 figure and 14 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan