Alternating gaze in multi-party storytelling

Rühlemann, Christoph and Gee, Matt and Ptak, Alexander (2019) Alternating gaze in multi-party storytelling. Journal of Pragmatics, 149. pp. 91-113. ISSN 0378-2166

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We present a single case study on gaze alternation’ in three-party storytelling. The study makes use of the XML method, a ‘combinatorial approach’ (Haugh & Musgrave 2019) involving multimodal CA transcription converted into the XML syntax. We approach gaze alternation via (i) the addressee-status hypothesis, (ii) the texturing hypothesis, and (iii) the acceleration hypothesis. Hypothesis (i) proposes that the storyteller alternatingly looks at the recipients not only when their addressee status is symmetrical but also when their addressee status is asymmetrical. Hypothesis (ii) predicts that gaze alternation ‘textures’ the telling by occurring when the storytelling progresses from one segment to another. Hypothesis (iii) states that gaze alternation accelerates toward
Climax and decelerates in Post-completion sequences. The analyses support the hypotheses. They suggest that alternating gaze works against the danger of exclusion caused by the dyadic structure of conversation. It further partakes in story organization as it occurs at points of transition from one story section to another section. Finally, accelerated gaze alternation constitutes an indexical process drawing the recipients’ attention to the immediate relevance of stance display (Stivers 2008). We conclude that the three hypotheses warrant further investigation to determine their generalizability across speakers and speech situations.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
3 June 2019Accepted
5 July 2019Published
Uncontrolled Keywords: Gaze alternation, Storytelling, Storytelling components, Stance, Inclusion, XML
Subjects: CAH19 - language and area studies > CAH19-01 - English studies > CAH19-01-07 - linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > School of English
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Depositing User: Matt Gee
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2019 10:40
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2022 14:51

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