Research Article

Turn Sequences in Host-Host and Host-Caller Talk in a Malaysian Radio Phone-In


  • Siti Nurbaya Mohd Nor Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


The study describes the turn sequences in host-host and host-caller talk and the nature of radio phone-in interactions in Malaysia. Based on selected episodes of phone-in interactions from a radio phone-in programme, this study explores the sequential organization of interactions between host-host and host-caller in the development of talk based on topics of discussion. Topics on common issues that generally feed the Malaysian public, such as, on social, relationship, moral and ethical issues are pre-selected for discussion with the hosts and radio callers. Since the radio station is broadcast in English, participants to the radio phone-in interact in English as a second language. The study adopts both Conversation Analysis and Membership Categorization Analysis in analysing turn-design and turn-management in the development of interactions between host-host and host-caller. The paper also illustrates how host and caller orientate to certain membership categories or category work in the sequential unfolding of talk. Findings show that the introductory stage of host-host talk is significant in establishing opinions from the radio hosts, as well as provides a resource for topical content in the development of talk. Both hosts are seen to work collaboratively, in which each conversational turn builds on prior talk, which ultimately develops a scenario for the setting of the topic for discussion. Participants also make reasoned and moral judgements about behaviour based upon the available membership categories in the content of talk. 

Article information


International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation

Volume (Issue)

3 (1)





How to Cite

Nor, S. N. M. . (2020). Turn Sequences in Host-Host and Host-Caller Talk in a Malaysian Radio Phone-In. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation, 3(1), 226–244. Retrieved from



Conversation Analysis, Membership Categorization Analysis, Radio phone-ins, structural organization, turn-taking, co-text