Continuers and repair initiators

Two-panel figure showing (A) Typical sequential structures for continuers versus
repair initiators. Continuers are recurring items found in alternation with unique turns (a, c). Repair initiators are recurring items found between a unique turn a and its near-copy a’. (B) Prevalence of sequentially identified candidate continuers and repair initiators, demonstrating the potential of using sequential patterns to identify them in language-agnostic ways. Most frequent formats exemplified in 10 languages (9 phyla), from left to right: Akhoe Hai||om, Hausa, Tehuelche, Gutob, Kerinci, Siwu, Mandarin, German, Korean, Dutch.

Another useful feature of this diagram is that it makes it possible to infer a minimum corpus size for spotting interactional resources of interest. For instance, the smallest corpora among the 10 languages for which tokens are exemplified in the figure are Akhoe Hai||om and Hausa, both corpora that make up less than one hour in total. This appears to be a lower bound for identifying phenomena like repair, though continuers are about an order of magnitude more frequent and so can be reliably found even in smaller corpora.

Liesenfeld, A., & Dingemanse, M. (2022). Building and curating conversational corpora for diversity-aware language science and technology. Proceedings of the 13th Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2022), 1178–1192. PDF