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Re-conceptualizing interruptions in physician-patient interview: Co-operative and intrusive
Unformatted Document Text:  Interruption Patterns 13 Unsuccessful interruptions. These were instances when the second speaker begins talking before the first speaker finishes an utterance (Beaumont & Cheyne, 1998; Jacob, 1974; Ng et al., 1995), and the second speaker stops before finishing the intruding speech, while the first speaker continues talking and holding the floor. Interruptions without overlapping. This type of interruption is also termed silent interruption (Ferguson, 1977). These are instances when the second speaker starts talking while the first speaker’s utterance was not completed. The utterances of the two speakers do not overlap. As pointed out by Bull and Mayer (1988), this situation poses special difficulties for scorers on deciding whether the first speaker intends to continue talking or use the silence as a turn-yielding signal (Duncan, 1972; Duncan & Fiske, 1977), for “conversations don’t always follow rules of standard grammar” (Bull & Mayer, 1988, p. 37). Following Duncan (1972), the possibility of an interruption was excluded if one or more of the following turn-yielding signals occurred: a rise or fall in pitch at the end of a clause, or a drawl on the final syllable. An interruption was determined when there was no change in the tone of speech in the final syllable. Complex interruptions. Sometimes, speakers interrupt each other or one speaker interrupts the other consecutively. Roger, Bull, and Smith (1988, also see Bull & Mayer, 1988) coded these sequences as one special category, while others coded them as a series of independent events (Ferguson, 1979, Kennedy & Camden, 1983). The present study followed the latter since complex interruptions only occurred twice and an independent category would not allow for meaningful statistical analysis. Co-operative and Intrusive Interruptions. As stated previously, successful interruptions were categorized as co-operative, intrusive or other. Co-operative

Authors: Li, Han., Krysko, Michael., Desroches, Naghmeh. and Deagle, George.
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Interruption Patterns
13
Unsuccessful interruptions. These were instances when the second speaker begins
talking before the first speaker finishes an utterance (Beaumont & Cheyne, 1998; Jacob,
1974; Ng et al., 1995), and the second speaker stops before finishing the intruding
speech, while the first speaker continues talking and holding the floor.
Interruptions without overlapping. This type of interruption is also termed silent
interruption (Ferguson, 1977). These are instances when the second speaker starts talking
while the first speaker’s utterance was not completed. The utterances of the two speakers
do not overlap. As pointed out by Bull and Mayer (1988), this situation poses special
difficulties for scorers on deciding whether the first speaker intends to continue talking or
use the silence as a turn-yielding signal (Duncan, 1972; Duncan & Fiske, 1977), for
“conversations don’t always follow rules of standard grammar” (Bull & Mayer, 1988, p.
37). Following Duncan (1972), the possibility of an interruption was excluded if one or
more of the following turn-yielding signals occurred: a rise or fall in pitch at the end of a
clause, or a drawl on the final syllable. An interruption was determined when there was
no change in the tone of speech in the final syllable.
Complex interruptions. Sometimes, speakers interrupt each other or one speaker
interrupts the other consecutively. Roger, Bull, and Smith (1988, also see Bull & Mayer,
1988) coded these sequences as one special category, while others coded them as a series
of independent events (Ferguson, 1979, Kennedy & Camden, 1983). The present study
followed the latter since complex interruptions only occurred twice and an independent
category would not allow for meaningful statistical analysis.
Co-operative and Intrusive Interruptions. As stated previously, successful
interruptions were categorized as co-operative, intrusive or other. Co-operative


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