5 September 2013

Two speakers speak at the same time in the New York mayoral election: exception that proves a rule?

This extraordinary 'conversation' between a voter and Anthony Wiener, a New York City mayoral candidate, is making me think again about one of the most basic rules of turn-taking, namely: 'one speaker speaks at a time'*.

New Yorkers may of course be an exception that proves the rule.

But, as I lack the transcription skills of the late Gail Jefferson, my chances of demonstrating that it's merely an extreme case of 'overlap competition'**,  in which they were actually closely orientating to what each other said on a turn-by-turn basis, are minimal.

* A Simplest Systematics for the Organization of Turn-Taking for Conversation by: Harvey Sacks, Emanuel A Schegloff, Gail Jefferson,Language, Vol. 50, No. 4. (1974), pp. 696-735.

**See also 'Interview techniques, politicians and how we judge them.'

(Next open course on Speechwriting & Presentation details are HERE .