Control of Floor (definition)


“The floor is defined as the acknowledged what’s-going-on within a psychological time/space. What’s going on can be the development of a topic or a function (teasing, soliciting a response, etc.) or an interaction of the two.” (Edelsky 1981)


In the following example, AL has the floor from line 01-14. ZH interrupts in line 15 and requests the floor. AL forcefully rejects this in lines 17 and 19-21. The interviewer (IN) interrupts (22-23) and  inadvertently hands the floor to ZH

13 AL: so to say it’s about choice
14     is disin[genuous in the extreme
15 ZH:         [can I just say
16     those [there is one thing=
17 AL:       [NO I didn’t interrupt you
18 ZH: =can I just say [there is one
19 AL:                 [NO NO
20     Zubaida I didn’t interrupt you
21     have the respect that I gave you
22 IN: please please be quick though
23     because we’re nearly out of time
24 ZH: can I just say
25     there is one fundamental issue here

External link to clip (from 20 secs)

Further examples


Edelsky, C. (1981). Who’s got the floor? Language in Society 10/3, 383-421.

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