Speaker Transitions and the Interactional Space: a Multimodal CA Analysis on University Student Meetings


Drawing upon video- and audio-recordings of group meetings conducted by architecture undergraduate students from the Newcastle University Corpus of Academic English (NUCASE) (Walsh, 2014), the current study aims at investigating the academic competences of university students to participate in multiparty group meetings. In particular, inspired by Kendon’s (1990) notion of transactional segment and Sacks and Schegloff’s (Sacks & Schegloff, 2002; Schegloff, 1998) idea of ‘body torque’ and ‘home position’, a sequential multimodal analysis was carried out to examine and compare cases of speaker transition in which speakers are seated at different positions around the squared desks, particularly to see how they manage to establish mutual orientation or enable mutual monitoring. It was shown that participants rely on different multimodal resources (e.g., body torque, inclination, gaze) available at different seating positions, and such resources were deployed to constitute, maintain or mobilise shared interactional space at different stages of their sequential actions.

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