Ari Nugroho

English Literature Study Program, Faculty of Languages and Arts, Surabaya State University



Lisetyo Ariyanti, S.S., M.Pd. 

English Literature Study Program, Faculty of Languages and Arts, Surabaya State University




Percakapan sebagai perilaku manusia terjadi ketika ada dua peserta atau lebih yang membahas sesuatu . Dalam percakapan , giliran untuk bicara memiliki struktur dasar yang adalah hanya satu peserta yang dapat bicara pada satu waktu kemudian yang  lain seperti yang dinyatakan oleh Levinson (1983:296) bahwa percakapan yang ditandai dengan turn taking , yaitu: salah seorang peserta , A , bicara , berhenti ; yang lain , B , mulai berbicara , dan berhenti jadi dapat distribusi dari A-B-A-B-A-B pada dua peserta . Tesis ini tentang pengambilan giliran berbicara dalam acara wawancara TV Indonesia Now eksklusif Agnes Monica dengan Dalton Tanonaka di Metro TV . Tujuan penelitian ini adalah untuk menemukan cara peserta dalam mengambil dan membangun giliran untuk berbicara . Ada tiga pertanyaan penelitian yang muncul dalam tesis ini , pertama adalah sistem pengambilan berbicara seperti apa yang digunakan oleh peserta dalam wawancara program televisi Indonesia Now , kedua adalah bagaimana peserta membangun giliran mereka dalam percakapan dan yang terakhir adalah efek pada alur sesi program dan peserta saat menggunakan giliran mengambil strategi yang didasarkan pada latar belakang budaya percakapan mereka. Desain tesis ini adalah deskriptif kualitatif dan menggunakan beberapa teori dari Sacks , et al ( 1974 ) teori tentang sistem pengambilan giliran dan juga Tannen (2005) , dan Yule ( 1996) teori tentang strategi mengambil giliran berbicara seperti tumpang tindih , gangguan dan backchannel sinyal , dan Kurylo ( 2013 ) tentang latar belakang budaya percakapan dalam menggunakan strategi mengambil giliran. Proses analisis data  yaitu menggambarkan data, kemudian mengklasifikasi , setelah itu menghubungkan ke teori dan penelitian sebelumnya tentang mengambil giliran berbicara. Setiap orang memiliki cara sendiri saat mengambil giliran untuk berbicara . Mereka hanya tidak menyadari bahwa dalam setiap sistem dan strategi mengambil giliran dalam percakapan memberikan banyak efek kepada para peserta, program , dan juga penonton . Data analisis ini menunjukkan banyak fenomena tentang mengambil giliran untuk berbicara dan juga menemukan hal baru tentang gangguan yang memiliki hubungan dengan tumpang tindih .


Kata Kunci: percakapan, pengambilan giliran




Conversation as human behaviour happens when there are two or more participants who are discussing something. In a conversation, the turn to talk has a basic structure that only one participant can talk at a time then another as Levinson (1983:296) stated that conversation is characterized by turn taking, that is: one participant, A, talks, stops; another, B, starts, talks, stops and so we obtain as A-B-A-B-A-B distribution of across two participants. This thesis is about turn-taking in interview TV program Indonesia Now exclusive Agnes Monica with Dalton Tanonaka on Metro TV. The aim of this thesis is to find the way participants in a conversation take and construct the turn to talk. There are three research questions that arise in this thesis, first is what turn-taking systems are used by the participants in interview TV programme Indonesia Now, second is how do the participants construct their turn in conversation and the last is hat are the effects to the flow of session of the programme and to the participants while using the turn taking strategies based on their cultural background of conversation. The design of this thesis is descriptive qualitative and use some theories from Sacks, et al (1974) theory about turn-taking systems and also Tannen (2005), and Yule (1996) theory about turn taking strategies such as overlap, interruption and backchannel signal, and Kurylo (2013) about the cultural background of conversation in using turn taking strategies. The processes of data analysis are describing the data, then classifying, after that connecting to the theory and previous study about turn taking approach. Every people have their own way while taking the turn to talk. They are just not realize that in every systems and strategies of turn taking in conversation give a lot of effects to the participants, programme, and also the audiences. The data of this analysis shows a lot of phenomena about taking the turn to talk and also find new thing that interruption have relation with overlap.


Keywords: conversation, turn-taking







Every person always interacts with others to socialize their lives in order to understand each other. They have their own way to do it. In this case, they use a different language conversation to show what their purpose and expectations. Conversation as discourse type has been defined by Cook (1989:51) in the following way, it is not primary necessitated by a practical fast, any unequal power of participants is partially suspended, the number of participants is small, turns are quite short and talk is primarily for the participants and not for an outside audience.

In a conversation, people mutually explicate intents and purposes using a variety of ways. The conversation has a number of reasons why it could happen, such as where that conversation took place, How close they get to know each other, Topics of conversation, how do they convey what is in their minds, when they get a turn to talk. For example, when someone was jogging in the park, and then saw someone falling over due to the stumbling stone, the first person will start a conversation to offer help even though they didn't know each other, then automatically the first speaker will directly show the intention and the objective without further small talks. This contrasts with an incident where there was a conversation that occurs between people who know each other. Most of them start a conversation with a greeting or a bit of humour, such as "Hi", "wow you are so cute like a puddle". Conversation is a natural human behaviour that always occurs when there are two or more participants. Levinson (1983:296) stated that conversation is characterized by turn taking, that is: one participant, A, talks, stops; another, B, starts, talks, stops and so we obtain as A-B-A-B-A-B distribution of across two participants. This explains that only one participant speaks at a time then another when the turn is possible. But in every conversation there is definitely some phenomenon of turn-taking that often occurs as Yule given example about turn-taking below ;

Mr. Strait         : What’s your major Dave?

Dave                : English—well I haven’ really decided


                          (3 seconds)

Mr. Strait         : So—you want to be a teacher?

Dave                                : No—not really—well not if I can help


                          (2.5 seconds)

Mr. Strait         : Wha—//Where do you—                                go


Dave                                : I mean it’s a—oh sorry    //I em—


(adapted from Yule, 1996: 73)


George Yule has given an example in his book “Pragmatics” of overlap interaction between a student and his friend’s father during their first meeting. The conversation above shows that there are very short pauses which marked by a line are hesitations, but longer pauses became silence. When there is a silence from the speaker, and another speaker tries to take his or her turn in that conversations as Mr. Strait speech “wha—//where do you—   go a head”, then Dave try to take his turn at that time and Mr. Strait tries to complete his speech, then Mr. Strait stop and gave Dave the opportunities to talk by said “go ahead”. That’s call as an overlap. Note that the overlaps marked by double slash (//) at the beginning of overlapping talk.

Some people may have their cultural background of conversation or taking the turn to talk such as for English man, overlap and interrupt may not tolerated in a conversation as stated by Sacks et al (1974) that U.S. English-style turn taking overwhelmingly includes quick speaker changes and little overlapping speech. It means that for English man, when in a conversation, they tend to minimize the gap and avoid the overlap that can be interruption of speech because they want to each speaker finish their speech to get full information and this makes the flow of conversation itself run smoothly.

It could also happen in a talk show where the host when being asked to the guest star, at the same time the guest stars suddenly answer when the question has not yet been completed. Even then the emcee also interrupted because the answer was nothing like what he wants. Here the host has full power to regulate turn of speech. These events sometimes interfere in the enjoyment of the viewers who are watching it and the speaker who get the overlapping talks due to they use the overlap as the device to get the turns. In this case, the host has full power to regulate a turn to talk. Turn as the organization of talk in conversation and the opportunity of the speaker to get the right of speak is fundamental in conversation because people may not be continuously talk, they need to take a breath for a while then the next speaker tries to get the turn of speak. But sometimes it is inversely proportional to the fact that some people often can't wait until their turns is possible and the researcher wants to know why they did that.

To covering the phenomenon as explained above, Conversation Analysis (CA) is useful device to find the observable rules and procedures by which participants manage their conversation behaviour such as who gets the next turn, when the turn is possible and so on. CA aims as discovering how participants understand and respond to another in the turns at talk with a central focus on how sequence of actions generated. Through out the course of a conversation or talk in interaction, speaker display in the next turns an understanding of what the prior turn was about. CA also the device to analysing the way that what speaker say dictates the type of answer expected and that speakers take turns when they interact.

Several previous study mention them only marginally, mostly merely presenting a definition of turn-taking, usually categorised in turn-taking system, while the system needs to proved in the use of turn taking strategies and show the effect while using it. An outstanding study concerning turn-taking system was introduced by Indri Manisha, Diponegoro University about The Turn – taking System used in TODAY’S DIALOGUE broadcast On METRO TV March 8th 2011 just analyse about the type and again about the kind of turn taking systems that used in the data. From that phenomenon, the researcher chooses Indonesia Now as the main data of this research. This program broadcasts once a week on Tuesday on Metro TV at 9.30 p.m to 10.30 p.m. It is hosted by Danton Tanaka as the interviewer and Agnes Monica, the international singer as the interviewees. The researcher curiosity in finding out how the turn is accepted, held, and why the participants some time can’t wait the possible turn. The topic of the main data is about Agnes’s experiences in becoming international singer.




Based on the phenomena in the background of the study above, it is intended to answer some of the research questions as follows;

1.   What turn-taking systems are used by the participants in interview TV programme Indonesia Now?

2.   How do the participants construct their turn in conversation?

3.   What are the effects to the flow of session of the programme and to the participants while using the turn taking strategies based on the cultural background of conversation ?




The purpose of the creation of this research is to provide the answer of the research question described above, namely;

1.   To know about the turn-taking systems are used in interview TV programme Indonesia Now

2.   To find out how the participants construct their turn to speak

3.   To know the effects of the flow of the programme and participants if they use the turn strategies which they are from different cultural conversation background




This study uses descriptive qualitative method which is not focus on number but tends to focus on the phenomenon of words, phrases, and sentences. According to Munhall (2007), descriptive qualitative research is not reducible to numbers and categories but it situated in the person’s life and the participant’s words to understand social interaction.

The object of this study is the turn-taking system and strategies used by the participants in interview TV program Indonesia Now on Metro TV. This study uses their turn-taking systems and strategies as the research by noting the transcript of the object in data collection.

The participants in interview TV program Indonesia Now exclusive Agnes Monica with Dalton Tanonaka on Metro TV become sources of the data, specifically the host, and the guest star. The data are in form of speech times, utterances, words and phrases.

In the process of collecting the data, the use of observation data technique is important to get an easy way while choosing the data to be analysed. According to Bloomer (1998:186), observation is a technique of collecting the data for studies in psycholinguistics, first-language acquisition, second-language acquisition, literacy, accent and dialect studies, sociolinguistics, language and gender, and conversation analysis. In this technique, the data can be finds out in various ways such as secret or open observation, recording from TV or radio program, or reusing previous study which contain of transcriptions and notes relating to the object.

The researcher as the key instrument in this study uses his science and ability to collect the data as explained by Heigham (2009: 11) that in qualitative research, the researcher is the primary research instrument and researchers use themselves to collect the data. The researcher is one of English Department student in State University of Surabaya, specifically focus on Linguistics. When the data was got, the phenomena of the way the participants talk which is sometimes irregular was became the main problem to analysed next.

In order to get a good data including well audio and video, after observation was done, then continued with record the data by using a tool which was called tape-recording. This will support many types of work or project such as sociolinguistics, accent and dialect studies, conversation analysis and so on, where it may help to make notes of transcript and avoid missing important information as explained by Bloomer (1998: 153) that the use of collecting recorded data is to listen over and over again for the detail. It would be badly need of a good video and audio, because some people are often unclear in utter the words.

In this part, the data was recorded by using a video tape recorder. In order to get a good data involve well audio and video, the use of one of internet’s most popular sites, namely YouTube was choose. After the data was found, then it was downloaded. The need of well audio and video was to get the transcripts and well understand about the phenomenon of the TV programme really occurs.

Once all the data is obtained, it is now time to analyse. In this study, the researchers used the technique of data analysis from Dey (1993:31-56) which show the way to analyse qualitative research. According to Dey, the qualitative analysis includes processes of describing phenomena, classifying it, and seeing how the concepts interconnect. the data used to conduct this study will be described first in order to give the information about the phenomenon that is found in this research as explained by Dey (1993: 32) that the first step in qualitative analysis is to develop thorough and comprehensive descriptions of the phenomenon under study. It was continued by classifying the data as Dey (1993; 41) stated that without classifying the data, we have no way of knowing what it is that we are analysing. This means that by classifying data, the researcher will be able to analyse a research. In this part, the researcher makes a table of list about the turn-taking systems and the thing that doesn’t related to the object will not be entered into the list. Describing and classifying is not finish yet, the researcher must continue the analysis by making connection between data and theories. This part is to make building blocks which mean that the researcher has to connecting the data with the theories in order to keep it on topic and goals analysis.




After analyzing the data, it can be found that the participants use the systems in different way and words. The table below are the most commonly system used by the participants;



Turn-Taking Systems

Type of Words


Turn-Constructional Component

Single Word










Single Phrasal

I don’t

I listen

Work harder

I can

Out of window

Of course

Single Clausal

Is there one of good thing?

But then becomes harder?

But that’s the goal

So you admit it?

It just happens?

But you say you plan thing?


Turn-Allocation Component

Self Selecting

Selecting by another


From the table above shows how the participants use the systems in conversation. It can be described that the participants use the first system Turn-Constructional Component which divided into three parts, single word, single phrasal, single clausal with many kind of words. For the first, single word, the participants which are the host Dalton Tanonaka and the guest star Agnes Monica use the word yeah, okay, because, really, sure, confidence, yes, no, and exactly as the way in using this system. From those data, the participants didn’t use the same way or word while constructing their turn by using single word, single phrase and single clause component because this is only a single unit types and it will not be usable if use in the same way as Sakcs, et al (1974;702) stated that the use of unit-types lacking feature in the same way may not be usable.

The use of single word, single phrase, single clause turn and also the allocation component which are self-selecting and selecting by other in taking the turn to talk are the techniques to make a bridge to know their turn status in conversation and the way of turn to talk was allocated as stated by Sacks, et al (1974;699) that there are techniques for the construction of utterances relevant to their turn status and the allocation of speaker.

In a conversation, sometime the speakers can’t wait for the TRP or the possible sentence completion to get the turn to talk. They tend to use the strategies in taking the turn which are overlap, interruption and backchannel signal.



Here the overlap and interruption have a connection in use. In the analysis of this study, the participants in interview TV program Indonesia Now use overlap strategies as a way in taking the turn and also show their enthusiasm of the topic in conversation. As Tannen (2005;98) stated that overlap, and latching of utterances are devices by which some speakers show solidarity, enthusiasm, and interest in others’ talk, that’s can be called as cooperative overlap. Why the overlap strategy has a connection with overlap because the overlap tends to be positive way in taking the turn and interruption is the negative. The overlap will be useful for the participants and the flow of the program itself can be more interest to watch. According to Coates (2004:113), overlaps are instances of slight over anticipation by the next speaker, instead of beginning to speak immediately following the current speaker’s turn, and the next speaker begins to speak at the end of the current speaker’s turn (TRP). This could be the way of next speaker anticipate the silence of the current speaker’s talk by following the current speaker’s turn and topic of conversation.



Meanwhile, interruption is begun by overlap but in wrong place and seems like competing the turn to talk because the next speaker was difficult to find the last word where the turn was come. Coates (2004:113-114) stated that interruptions are violations of turn taking when the next speaker begins to talk while the current speaker is still speaking and the current speaker’s turn could not be defined as the last word.. Interruption can make the interlocutor angry because when the current speaker is talking about serious topic, next speaker tries to get the turn with overlap strategies but in wrong place and moment, so this become an interruption and broke the flow of the conversation in the program. The conversation below show how the participant uses overlap strategies in a right and wrong way;


D:     you have the performance skill, you know what I think will do for you? Just my limited experience in the broadcast, a movie role like things that need did for Zang ziyi or Michelle Yeoh, they take role in a serious movie, they serious actress and you can singing further because there is so many //singer

A:              Actually there has been over but I am not gonna// talk about it first ((laugh))

D:                     But you let us// know?

A:        OF COURSE OF COURSE  I will definitely                                                               

  (scene 2, line 88-91)


The conversation above shows that there are two arrows which are the first is overlap and second is overlap but become interruption. As the first arrow shows that when D didn’t finish his talk yet, A overlap him as seen where the double slash (//) was the time A overlap D’s talk. It was called as an overlap strategy because D didn’t feel that A competing him in taking the turn. It contrast with second arrow which is an overlap became interruption as seen in A’s talk in the last line. There are up arrow and bold letter which show that A felt angry because D forced her to answer his question which A didn’t want to answer it in line 89 and when D forced her, A answer it with raising pitch. This proves that overlap can be interruption if the user can’t place it in the right way.


Backchannel Signal

Meanwhile, the use of backchannel signal makes the flow of the program run smoothly, no overlap or interruption phenomena when the participants use this strategy. Backchannel signal as the way of participants indicate that they are listening the current speaker speech made the flow of conversation run attractively because the participants seem like they are understand about the topic. Yule (1998) maintains that backchannels are “vocal indications of attention, e.g. uhhuh, hmm when someone else is talking”.


The effect in using the turn-taking strategies

All of turn taking strategies has their own effect to the program even to the flow of the program itself. Here the host, Dalton Tanonaka as an American and Agnes Monica as an Indonesian have their own cultural background of conversation. As Robles in Kurylo (2013) stated that United States people tend to give quick response and answer just to minimize the gap and conversation and for outside U.S such as Indonesia, the longer pause may not be a problem in conversation as the conversation below show the participant (A) Agnes Monica didn’t pay attention that when she was speaking, there was a longer pause up to 9 seconds;

D:     Now what could you be better act?

A:     ehhh (9 seconds) politics?(0.2)//may be probably

D:                                                   pol politics? Playing

the business and the industry and//

A:     But for now I mean I don’t em I am not thinking

of going into politics but if you know(.) if I was born//

                                                            (scene 1, line 35-38)


 When the participants use an overlap strategy, the flow of the program become more interest and attractive because they use this strategy to show that they are enthusiasm while discussing the topic of conversation and make the audiences want to watch it until the program is end. It different with the use of interruption, the flow of the program become flat because the audience and the participants involve it competing the turn to talk and for the audiences, they can’t enjoy the program as stated by Sacks et al (1974) that interruption is a violation of the current speaker’s right to the floor and disruption to the flow of the conversation.

On the other hand, Halliday in Paltridge (2006;14) argues that speech or spoken discourse are no less highly organized. There is no organization or rule of using overlap and interruption. A conversation or in the DA it was called as spoken discourse, no grammatical structure for spoken discourse and as natural aspect for speaker says something. People allowed to overlap or interruption someone speaks to ask for clarification to reach information clearly. For this, it may allowed for people outside U.S English community, because for the U.S English community, in a conversation, the gap, silence, overlap, and interruption must be avoided as Philips in Kurylo (2013;100) mentioned that In other speech communities within and outside of the United States, however, longer pauses may occur between speakers with more or less than the expected overlap.





Basically, all theories of turn takings systems and strategies are applicable to analyse the phenomena of the use of turn taking systems and strategies based on their theories category. In preceding chapter, the background of the study here give a little view about turn taking, and anything about conversation that will be analysed next. In doing analysis, there are a lot of new phenomena in using the turn taking systems and strategies. For the turn taking systems, turn allocation component, self selecting system is always not a question. The use of strategies also given a lot of phenomena which is if the speaker uses overlap strategies, it will useful for the conversation become more interest but if the speaker use overlap in a wrong way, it will be interruption that can make the flow of the program was not interest and for the effect in using the turn taking strategies, the use of overlap and interruption may allowed for people outside U.S English community because for the U.S English speaker, in a conversation, the long pause, interruption and overlap phenomena must be avoided to minimize the gap and make the flow of the program run smoothly based on the rule in conversation which is the next speaker should wait until the TRP is come or in other word, the next speaker should wait for the current speaker finishes the speech.



Based on the result, the researcher thinks that conducting research of turn taking is very challenging. By using conversation analysis, turn taking approach, or other approaches, such as discourse analysis approach. For the net researcher, the researcher of this study suggests that in doing turn taking analysing phenomena, its better to choose the data that the background of the participants has a lot of information, knowledge and so on to get a lot of phenomena off turn taking. Turn taking phenomena is not only in interview TV program, but also in another forms of conversation.



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