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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