4.2.4.2 Back channel support

There is a relatively low occurrence of back channel support, one reason for which appears to be that the function of back channel support is served by other linguistic forms in this discussion. There is a high instance of joint turn construction between speakers G5 and G6, and between G6 and G7, which seems to an extent to replace back channel support.

Giver recipient no.of items Giver recipient no. of items

G5 G6 7 G6 G5 3

G7 3 G7 0

G8 0 G8 0

G5 gives 10 items G6 gives 3 items

G5 receives 6 items G6 receives 8 items

Giver recipient no.of items Giver recipient no. of items

G7 G5 3 G8 G5 0

G6 1 G6 0

G8 0 G7 0

G7 gives 4 items G8 gives 0 items

G7 receives 3 items G8 receives 0 items

Total number of back channel items in discussion: 17

Ratio of back channel items to number of words: 1:69

The pattern observed in Groups I and II, of the most dominant speaker receiving the greatest number of back channel support items but giving the fewest, does not hold for this discussion. G5, who in other respects appears the most dominant speaker, gives the greatest number of back channel items. G6, on the other hand, receives most and gives fewest items of back channel support, although in other respects she appears to be subordinate to G5.

G8 gives no back channel support; neither does she receive any support for her utterances. Nothing is done by the other speakers to incorporate G8 into the discussion.


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