It is progressively acknowledged that for linguistics “ an apprehension of the constructions and procedures of conversation is aˆ¦ cardinal ; it is indispensable to the apprehension of linguistic communication ” ( Schiffrin 1990, p10 ) . For socialisation, conversation is doubtless the primary sphere where all members of a community participate. Hence, it is of import to detect the nature and organisation of conversation. The purpose of conversation analytic research is to depict and explain the competencies that talkers use in day-to-day conversation. This paper critically analyzes and interprets a outstanding characteristic in the text — — the organisation and flow of the text.

The spoken discourse was selected from an American world telecasting show called “ The learner ” . It is hosted by the existent estate baron, Donald Trump. The contestants compete in an elimination-style competition for a contract of running one of Trump ‘s companies. The written text is an infusion from one of the episodes.

Features of registry

Martin ( 2001 ) suggests that field refers to the content of the context, tenor refers to the functions of the participants in an interaction and manner refers to the channel of communicating. The field of the text is the board meeting where the hosts and the participants discussed the jobs of the losing squad. The field involves mental procedure which can be demonstrated by verbs “ hatred ‘ , “ like ” and “ cognizant ” ; verbal procedure which can be illustrated by verbs “ talked ” and “ state ” . The manner is face-to-face conversation which allows self-generated responses and overlapping. The tenors are the three hosts and several adult females participants of the world show. The hosts have higher position than the participants. This relationship will impact the regulations of talk and therefore turn-taking since turn-taking depends upon the context of the talk and the nature of the societal relationship between the tenors.

This paper is concerned with two major issues: turn-taking and back-channel signal.

Part 1: Turn-taking

Gumperz ( 1982 ) states that “ communicating is a societal activity necessitating the co-ordinated attempts of two or more persons ” ( p. 1 ) , and that “ talkers must enlist others ‘ cooperation and actively seek to make colloquial engagement ” ( p. 206 ) to make meaningful duologue. The implicit in rules of turn-taking were first described by sociologists Harvey Sacks, Emanuel A. Schegloff, and Gail Jefferson in “ A Simplest Systematics for the Organization of Turn-Taking for Conversation, ” in the diary Language, December 1974. It is concerned with the tacit regulations which regulate the taking up by talkers of the running subject and therefore the alteration over from talker to talker. Sacks observed that the cardinal rule that talkers follow in taking bends is to avoid spreads and convergence in conversation. The survey of bend taking includes two chief countries: turn constructional constituent, turn allocational constituent or turn taking regulations.

Turn constructional constituent

The Turn constructional constituent describes out of which turns are fashioned. These basic units are called turn constructional units ( TCUs ) . These units are grammatically, pragmatically, semantically, intonationally right units. While sentence structure ( “ grammar ” ) is a really of import hint for hearers in “ foretelling ” up-coming TRP ‘s, modulation plays an even more of import portion. Typically one TCU has a falling intonational curve as in the followers:

hypertext transfer protocol: //

Turn allocational constituent /Turn pickings regulations

The completion of a TCU consequences in a passage relevancy topographic point ( TRP ) where a new talker might get down talking. Rod Gardner ( 1994 ) points out that a new talker knows it is appropriate to take the bend, “ as a scope of co-occurring factors such as falling modulation, grammatical construction of a completed sentence, position and regard ” .

The bend pickings regulations are as follows:

Rule 1. If the current talker selects another talker, that talker must talk following.

There are several talker choice techniques that current talkers can utilize to choose following talker, such as regard, position, usage of address term, and directing inquiries to peculiar interactants.

Turn 3 Trump: Jennifer, you are leader. = =So what do you state about that?

In the above illustration, Trump has selected Jennifer as the following talker both by the usage of address term and by explicating a inquiry.

Rule 2. If the current talker does non choose another talker, person may self-select as following talker.

Turn 6 Trump: But the work forces went out and hired cleaning people. They were refreshed. You were n’t. You were tired. You merely did n’t make the occupation.

Turn 7 Carolyn: I will state you what I think you went wrongaˆ¦

In bend 6, Trump commented on the adult females participants ‘ public presentation. As the current talker, he did non choose the following talker. As a consequence, Carolyn self-selects herself as the following talker and she continued to proof Trump ‘s remark on the adult females participants.

Rule 3. If cipher ego selects, the current talker may go on.

This can besides be demonstrated in the text:

Turn 3. Trump: Jennifer, you are leader. = =So what do you state about that?

Turn 4. Jennifer C: = =Yes, I am.

Turn 5. Jennifer C: In respect to sleepingaˆ¦aˆ¦

After Jennifer gave her response to the host ( turn 4 ) , she so continued to lucubrate her reply ( turn 5 ) and hence be the following talker.

Part 2: Back-channel signals

In this subdivision, the paper focuses on back-channel signals which are rich in the text.

Harmonizing to R. Macaulay1, “ We. . . show we are listening and do non wish to disrupt by giving back-channel signals, such as yes, uh-huh, mhm, and other really short comments. “ Each of these items is working distinctively. In the followers, their word picture and utilizations will be examined.

Mm hectometer

Turn 31. Trump: Jennifer, here ‘s the narrative. You can take two, or you can take three to come back into the board room with you.

Turn 32. Jennifer: millimeter hectometer

Turn 33. Trump: What would you instead make?

The two bisyllabic items mm hectometers have fall-rise modulation. They serve the map as anticipating the other talker to go on. Turn 33 is a good illustration to exemplify this. In bend 31, Trump asked Jennifer to take two or three participants to travel back into the board room. Jennifer answered with millimeter hectometer proposing her incompletion and passed the bend to Trump once more.


Turn 53. Trump: What do you believe, Bill?

Turn 54. Bill: I think Jen need to take more by illustration. And non merely stand at the corner and delegate. She did n’t make anything

Turn 55. Trump: Ok. Robin, allow them in.

Harmonizing to Beach ( 1993 ) , “ Oklahoma is used often when there is in some sense or other, a alteration in activity, where there is a displacement is focus from making one thing to making another ” . In the above illustration ( Turn 55 ) , “ Oklahoma ” maps as a “ alteration of activity ” . In bend 53, Trump asked Bill ‘s sentiment. After hearing Bill ‘s position, Trump moved on to the following and he asked Robin to allow the participants into the board room.

However, “ ok ” can be used otherwise and acts as a response to a inquiry or jussive mood. In the undermentioned illustration, Jennifer used “ all right ” intending she promised non to interrupt Bill.

Turn 46. Bill: = =Do n’t disrupt meaˆ¦Please.

Turn 47. Jennifer: Oklahoma.


Turn 43. Jennifer: = =rightaˆ¦I agree. .

Beach ( 1993 ) suggests that “ right is a newsmarker. It claims something like ‘I have registered what you have said and understood it, and I have fitted it in to the on-going talk ” . In Turn 43, Jennifer showed that she understood the old talker. Furthermore, she agreed with that. It is different from “ Oklahoma ” since “ all right ” carries a significance as “ now I am ready to alter the subject ” .

Gestures as back-channel signals

J. Cassell2 points out that “ our face plays an of import function in the communicating procedure ” . A smiling can show felicity, be a polite salutation, or be a back-channel signal. Some facial looks are linked to the syntax construction of the vocalization: superciliums may raise on an speech pattern and on non-syntactically pronounced inquiries. Gaze and caput motions are besides portion of the communicative procedure. This paper continues to look into the application of gestures as back-channel signals in the spoken discourse.


Turn 13 Trump: [ Jennifer nodding ] Why are you stating yes? = =Were you admiting that you did n’t ‘ make good?

In bend 13, Jennifer nodded her caput. Trump assumed her nodding as her understanding and hence he asked Jennifer why she said yes.

Head agitating

Turn 68. Jennifer: Ok. ..From the last undertaking to now, I do n’t cognize what happened with her personality. Elizabeth was on the brink of a small dislocation.

Elizabeth: [ Elizabeth agitating caput ] That ‘s non true.

The above illustration clearly shows that Elizabeth ‘ caput shaking was in sync with her address. She expressed her dissension by both gesture and address.


Turn 60. Jennifer: For everything I tried to implement, she would acquire in the manner, tried to sabotage, and genuinely wreak-havoc.

Turn 61. Stacy: [ Stacy glowering ] This draws the line. I mean she is conveying me in for personal grounds. = =I am wholly cognizant of that.

Stay ‘s frowning was associated to her dissension to Jennifer ‘s remark. Her glowering clearly expressed her attitude towards Jennifer. From the above illustrations, it is suggested that negative significances were linked caput agitating and frowning.

The above illustrations suggest that gesture and address are co-expressive and complementary channels in the act of speech production. In conversations, participants produce some gestures that are intended to better convey their significance or purposes.


This survey has revealed that turn-taking theoretically contribute to an apprehension of how linguistic communication is constituted and used in existent, practical scenes that talkers routinely encounter in their community. On the other manus, gesture and address are portion of our human linguistic communication system. They are co-expressive and complementary. While address carries the major burden of symbolic presentation, gesture provides the imagistic content. ( 1614 words )