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What is overlap?



Overlap is simultaneous talk by two or more conversational participants, irrespective of its status in participants’ minds as an interruption.


Analysts consider an overlap to result from factors such as the following:

  • The desire to start a turn before another so as not to miss the opportunity
  • The desire to make a particular contribution while it is relevant
  • Uncertainty as to whether the current speaker intends to continue
  Here is a kind of overlap:

Moerman 1988 19–20, 25


Murray 1988 115

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Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 5.0 published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 2003. [Ordering information.]

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