Handling Turn Transitions in Australian Tactile Signed Conversations

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This article explores how deafblind Australian Sign Language (Auslan) users, who communicate through an alternative range of modalities including tactile (hands) and kinetic (body movement) inputs, manage turn transitions. Studies of deafblind communication have typically employed a signal-based approach. In contrast, this article applies broader Conversational Analysis (CA) frameworks, which have been developed based on interlocutors who primarily rely on auditory-vocal and visual resources but have been productively applied to a range of languages, participants, and settings. Through fine-grained analyses of a single case study, this article examines how tactile Auslan signers orient to the relevance of turn transitions at possible completion points. The research illuminates the mechanics of how tactile Auslan signers negotiate turns and advances our understanding of both the analytical potentials of CA and the ways particular deafblind Auslan signers coordinate sequences, actions, and multimodalities in their interactional choreography. Data are in tactile Auslan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-240
Number of pages19
JournalResearch on Language and Social Interaction
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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