Speech Events

All social activities, in which language plays an important role, can be referred to as speech events. However, this does not reduce the term to spoken conversation because it also includes the wide range of written communication.

Whatever type of conversation we are looking at, we will find that it is always underlying a certain structure and that people follow certain (culturally specific) "rules" and rituals. In a conversation, the interlocutors (the people talking to each other) generally face each other and do not speak simultaneously. Most people start their conversations greeting one another, then continue in a turn-taking way of speaking (without interrupting each other too often). At the end of the conversation, people have, at the best, finished what they wanted to say and say goodbye to each other in an appropriate way.

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Categories: Glossary