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Securing Recipiency in Workplace Meetings: Multimodal Practices
Discourse Studies (2012)
  • Trini Stickle
  • Cecilia E Ford
As multiparty interactions with single courses of coordinated action, workplace meetings place
particular interactional demands on participants who are not primary speakers (e.g. not chairs) as
they work to initiate turns and to interactively coordinate with displays of recipiency from coparticipants.
Drawing from a corpus of 26 hours of videotaped workplace meetings in a midsized
US city, this article reports on multimodal practices – phonetic, prosodic, and bodily-visual – used
for coordinating turn transition and for consolidating recipiency in these specialized speech
exchange systems. Practices used by self-selecting non-primary speakers as they secure turns in
meetings include displays of close monitoring of current speakers’ emerging turn structure,
displays of heightened interest as current turns approach possible completion, and turn initiation
practices designed to pursue and, in a fine-tuned manner, coordinate with displays of recipiency
on the parts of other participants as well as from reflexively constructed ‘target’ recipients. By
attending to bodily-visual action, as well as phonetics and prosody, this study contributes to
expanding accounts for turn taking beyond traditional word-based grammar (i.e. lexicon and
  • gaze; gesture; institutional interaction; interactional linguistics; meeting interaction; multimodality; multiparty interaction; turn taking
Publication Date
February, 2012
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Citation Information
Ford, C.E. & Stickle, T. Securing recipiency in workplace meetings: Multimodal practices. Discourse Studies, 14(1): 11-30.