Vocal and visual practices of minimal response

Number: P44
Organizer: Barth-Weingarten, Dagmar
Co-Organizer: Elisabeth Reber
This panel will focus on the forms and functions of practices of minimal response in multimodal talk-in-interaction. Particular emphasis will be placed on the interplay of vocal and visual minimal responses and the potential constraints on their forms and functions in their various interactional habitats.
Following their early uptake in Conversation Analysis (e.g. Heritage 1984, Jefferson 1984, Schegloff 1982), response tokens have, in recent years, enjoyed increasing attention (e.g. Sorjonen 2001). They have been acknowledged to be among the essential resources for organizing sequential and interactional aspects of talk-in-interaction as they indicate how prior talk is receipted. Yet, most systematic studies have so far neglected the relevance of the prosodic-phonetic contextualization of vocal responses for meaning-making (but cf. e.g. Gardner 2001, Reber 2008). In addition, they have rarely incorporated visual response forms in their account (but cf. e.g. Stivers 2008, Tanaka to appear).
This panel presents a range of multimodal approaches to minimal practices of response with specific emphasis on their prosodic-phonetic and visual forms of realization. In particular it focuses on:
• the interactional functions of individual response tokens in terms of sequential organization, epistemicity, the display of stance and politeness,
• the interrelationship between vocal and visual responses, including their sequential positioning and consequences as well as their potential substitutability,
• differences in the forms and uses of response activities and their frequency in different types of interaction (everyday conversation, media talk, business negotiations) and languages (English, Estonian, Hebrew, Japanese and the Australian aboriginal language of Garrwa)
Among the contributions to the panel are qualitative analyses and papers that offer a generalization of results, based on qualitatively well-founded quantitative studies.