A Pragmatic Study of Turn Taking and Adjacency Pairs in Online Conversations

Conversational Analysis, Turn Taking, Adjacency Pairs, Online Communication, Internet Relay Chat (IRC).


May 22, 2023


This study tries to investigate one type of synchronous online communication, which is Internet Relay Chat, in terms of conversational analysis, particularly turn-taking and adjacency pairs. Synchronous online communication can be viewed as a novel medium that combines spoken, written and electronic properties. There may be a direct causal link between the lack of coherence in synchronous online communication and its propensity for language play that leads to the conversational analysis of synchronous online communication, which is associated with a reduction of coherence, disruption of turn adjacency and phantom turn adjacency. In synchronous online communication, there is a difficulty in interpreting messages in their sequential context that arises from the fact that turn sequencing is partly user-controlled and partly system-controlled. This leads to disrupted turn-taking and adjacency pairs as other stands of conversation get inserted between their parts.