Fingerspelling, and Contact in Signed Languages
decrease in signing speed near the termination of the turn, by an optional call for addressee response (e.g., indexing the addressee at the end of the turn), or both. The signer then moves his or her hands to rest position. The addressee can signal turn claiming during the speaker’s turn by using the following strategies:
a. Optional increase in size and quantity of head-nodding, often accompanied by a concurrent increase in size and quantity of indexing the speakerBecause Baker (1977) looked at dyadic conversations, focusing on the selection of the next speaker or on the allocation of the next turn was not necessary. However, her analysis of speaker-initiated turns is to some extent comparable to what happens when a speaker self-selects in a multiparty conversation or in a meeting, as will become clear in the following section.
Turn-Taking Mechanisms in a Mixed Conversation with a Sign Language Interpreter
Turn-taking mechanisms in a mixed conversation with a sign language interpreter also follow a different pattern. Roy (1989, 1993) analyzed a videotaped meeting that occurred involving a professor, a doctoral student, and an interpreter and focused on, among other things, the interpreter’s role in simultaneous talk or overlap. She claims that interpreters have four options in the case of overlap:
In Roy’s study, whatever the interpreter chose to do, ultimately, it was the interpreter who resolved turn-taking problems created by overlap, and thus, it was the interpreter who made a decision: “In particular, the interpreter recognized overlap quickly, and made sociolinguistic choices to resolve overlap by deciding and allocating who would get the next turn” (Roy 1993, 360). Thus, the interpreter is not a neutral conduit but has an active role “in managing the intercultural event of interpreting” (Roy 1993, 341).