Lapses: How People Arrive at, and Deal With, Discontinuities in Talk

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Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.Interaction includes moments of silence. When all participants forgo the option to speak, the silence can be called a “lapse.” This article builds on existing work on lapses and other kinds of silences (gaps, pauses, and so on) to examine how participants reach a point where lapsing is a possibility and how they orient to the lapse that subsequently develops. Drawing from a wide range of activities and settings, I will show that participants may treat lapses as (a) the relevant cessation of talk, (b) the allowable development of silence, or (c) the conspicuous absence of talk. Data are in American and British English.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-453
JournalResearch on Language and Social Interaction
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


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