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Title:Utterance overlap and long silence among the Baka pygmies: comparison with Bantu farmers and Japanese university students
Author:Kimura, DaijiISNI
Periodical:African Study Monographs: Supplementary Issue
Geographic term:Cameroon
language usage
External link:http://repository.kulib.kyoto-u.ac.jp/dspace/bitstream/2433/68405/1/ASM_S_26_103.pdf
Abstract:Using a conversation analysis framework and the time-sampling method, the author studied the temporal structure of conversation among the Baka pygmies of southeastern Cameroon, and compared it with that of the Bakwele, Bantu-speaking farmers living in the same area, and Japanese university students. Data were collected in 1994 (Baka and Bakwele) and 2000 (Japanese). The analysis found that the Bakwele and Japanese adhered to the principle of turn-taking while the Baka did not. Utterance overlap and long silence were more frequent in Baka conversations. Moreover, utterance overlap was not used strategically, to take conversational turns, but rather as a form of behavioural synchronization, which is naturally embedded in Baka social interaction. Similarly, a long silence was not a failure in turn-taking, nor an indication of the termination of a conversation, boundary of a sentence, or politeness, but could be regarded as a 'mode of co-presence'. The Baka can be present together without continuous mutual utterance probably because they live in a 'high-context' society, i.e. they commonly own most information required in social life. Even slight bodily movement is enough to convey thoughts to others, so the continuous exchange of utterances is not necessary for social co-presence. Bibliogr., notes, sum.