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date: 05 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

A discourse is an extended use of language, such as a conversation, novel, newspaper article, stage play, or comic strip. It may be long or short, fiction or nonfiction, printed or spoken, but the main divide is between spontaneous and manufactured varieties. A spontaneous discourse is one created on the fly, whereas a manufactured discourse is one that has been prepared, reworked, and turned into an artifact or performance. It is the spontaneous forms that are primeval. This chapter reviews how people work together to produce a spontaneous discourse. When people gossip, exchange information, make plans, or transact business, they must coordinate. Participants establish coordination by a succession of joint commitments. The discourse that emerges is a dialogue: part speech, part gesture; part spoken turns, part gestural actions; part simple turns, part longer narratives.

Keywords: discourse, gesture, dialogue, coordination

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