Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
English, Linguistics, and Communication
Major or Concentration
English (Creative Writing Concentration)
In the linguistic field, silences are typically studied as barriers between utterances. However, silences can also be studied as independent utterances. This paper examines silence in the latter context by analyzing an hour-long audio recording of an in-class discussion that took place during a senior linguistics seminar at the University of Mary Washington. Specifically, this paper looks at the role of silence as an independent utterance within classroom discussion. The 33 silences (referred to as "prolonged" silences within the paper) range in length from 10.01 seconds to 92.99 seconds. The analysis of the data is divided into three sections: first responders (those who responded immediately after a silence), second responders (what response occurred immediately after the first responder), and initiators (what initiated the silence). By analyzing the discourse in which these silences took place--as well as the previous research on the subject, possible external factors, and the researcher's experience within the environment--this paper seeks to uncover why prolonged silences occur in classroom discussion.
Halprin, Amanda, ""...Anything Else?": An Examination of Prolonged Pauses in Classroom Discussion" (2016). Student Research Submissions. 48.