Pub. Date:
Indiana University Press
Telephone Conversation / Edition 1

Telephone Conversation / Edition 1

by Robert Hopper


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"... Hopper’s aim is to begin to reveal to us the complex world of telephone conversation, and that is what he succeeds marvellously in doing." —Discourse & Society

"A guided tour through the interior world of phone interactions,  Telephone Conversation is a playful, often poetic excursion into the dance-like qualities of language  as and  in technology." —Wayne A. Beach

"Â Telephone Conversation is an engagingly written book, peppered with snippets of telephone chat that enable readers to see the extraordinariness of ordinary talk." —Quarterly Journal of Speech

"... the first comprehensive work on telephone interaction... Written in a lucid, often poetic manner, it keeps the reader’s interest to the end." —Anthropological Linguistics

Voice mail, answering machines, car phones, call-waiting, call-forwarding—it seems the telephone at times controls our lives. Here Robert Hopper eavesdrops on the sounds of telephone conversation, the most important yet least examined province of contemporary communication and an important aspect of contemporary life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780253207241
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publication date: 01/28/1992
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

ROBERT HOPPER is Charles Sapp Centennial Professor of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin. His books include Children Learning Language: Between You and Me and Human Message Systems.

Table of Contents


1. The People of the Phone
2. The Rediscovery of Speaking

3. Telephone Openings: How to Begin a Speech Event
4. Situational Variations in Telephone Openings: Circumstances, Relationships, Cultures

5. How Do I Know When It’s My Turn?
6. Turn Beginnings, Speech Overlap, and Interruption: Floor Access as Power

7. Beginnings Discourse Episodes
8. Beginning to Play
9. The Telephone Access War

Envoi: The Interaction Order

Appendix: Transcribing Conventions

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