Samaila Yakubu


Conversation analysis is an approach for language study that embraces verbal and non – verbal conduct in a situation of everyday life. Dialogues in Ngugi’s and Micere’s The Trial of Dedan Kimathi could be classified as a naturally occurring conversation because they involve two or more people (characters) who take turns to speak on issues related to exploitative and oppressive rule of the British colonial masters in Kenya. So, as important as conversational discourse is in tackling issues bothering human beings, not enough scholarly attention has been given to it. Therefore, this paper seeks to explore turn – taking components and cues in the aforementioned text to see how they are being used. The paper adopts as its theoretical framework Sacks (1974) conversation analysis model. The data for the study were analyzed bearing in mind the topic of the study that is turn- taking components and cues. Turn – Construction components (units) such as single words, phrases, clauses, and sentences are used extensively in the text. Turn allocation in the text is either current speaker selects the next speaker, current speaker self-select or current speaker continues. Cues such as turn- yielding cues, turn-requesting cues, and back-channel cues run throughout the text. Turn yielding cues such as silences, adjacency pairs, tag questions, utterances made on a rising pitch, utterances made on a falling pitch among others are prevalent in the text. Back – channels employed in the text are in the form of utterances and actions. The study found too that turn – taking in the text makes the conversation orderly and meaningful. The study concludes that conversation analysis is an important tool in handling naturally occurring conversation.

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turn–taking components, turn–taking cues, conversation analysis, Ngugiwa Thiongo and Micrere Githae Mugo

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejlll.v4i2.212


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