Turn-timing in Norwegian Sign Language: A study of transition durations
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- Master theses 
Turn-taking requires collaboration between interlocutors, and previous research has found that there is a desire for minimal overlap and gap in informal conversations. Because there is limited research on this topic in signed languages, this thesis investigated turn transition durations in question-answer sequences in informal, Norwegian Sign Language (NTS) conversations. By analyzing a selection of files from two data sets within the Norwegian Sign Language Corpus, the aim was to find out whether mean transition durations in NTS are in the range observed for other spoken and signed languages, if transition durations are variable between individuals, and if age or question type affect mean transition durations. As this study relied on previously collected data the participants were not recruited for this research specifically. The transition durations of 159 question-answer sequences were measured in terms of stroke-to-stroke turn boundaries and yielded 100 gaps and 59 overlaps. The results were in line with previous research on turn-timing, measuring a mean turn transition duration within 250 ms of the cross-linguistic average observed for spoken languages, supporting the theory that turn-timing varies very little across languages, no matter the modality. Some individual differences could be observed, but no significant difference was found between question types, nor between age-ranges, due to few examples in each category.