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Vol 7 No 3 (2018): Overlapping Speech in Caryl Churchill’s Hot Fudge: Constructing Interactional and Interpersonal Contexts

Andriy Ivanchenko (Chukyo University)

The script of Caryl Churchill’s short play Hot Fudge (like several other plays by
this author) contains detailed directions for overlapping conversation. At certain points in
the play these may be contributing to a number of effects similar to those described for
the naturally occurring ‘collaborative floor’, such as enthusiasm and mutual support. The
importance of an interactive approach to constructed conversation is pointed out in the
article, particularly that of analysing the overlapped speaker’s response to appreciate
the discursive significance of the overlapping turn. For instance, acknowledging and/or
reusing the other speaker’s overlapping formulations in a non-oppositional format can
show an understanding of these contributions as collaboratively oriented. Therefore,
such an interpretation of overlapping dialogue in a dramatic text will affect the reader’s
understanding of the interpersonal context (e.g. dominance-seeking/mutual
support/collaboration between pairs of speakers). In particular, this approach is taken to
show how certain kinds of overlapping similar to those described for the naturally
occurring conversation can be used dramatically to supportive rather than conflictive
ends. Overall, it is shown how the dramatic characters’ interpersonal orientations
become inferable from their use of certain dialogic options.

Published: 2018-11-23

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