Conversational Overlaps in Early Child Language: Spanish Child-Adult and Child-Child Interactions in Focus
María A. Cobelas Cartagena, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, España
María A. Cobelas Cartagena, 2016: "Los solapamientos conversacionales en edad temprana: un estudio centrado en interacciones simétricas (niño-niño) y asimétricas (niño-adulto) en español", Onomázein 34, 169-186.
DOI: 10.7764/onomazein.34.12

The turn-taking system controls the exchange of roles (i.e., speaker and hearer) among the participants of a conversation. According to conversational analysts, this interactional process is governed by turn allocation techniques aimed at ensuring that this exchange takes place in a fluent, organized and systematic way. Nevertheless, there are also different conversational transgressions that break the expected rules. The aim of this study is to analyze one of the most common conversational transgressions, namely overlaps, in early child language. For this purpose, we have carried out mainly a qualitative analysis combined with some quantitative aspects focusing on the overlapping talk of Spanish child-adult and child-child conversations. We have examined a total of 22 transcripts of 5 adults and 11 children (3;0-4;5). Our results show that children are able to manage turn allocation techniques from an early age and additionally employ overlaps as a communicative strategy.