The Dynamics of Turn-taking in Meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee

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Published Nov 20, 2023
Christian Langerfeld Gisle Andersen


In applied linguistics relatively little empirical research has been devoted to the study of spoken language compared to written genres. This article aims to complement previous research by focusing on domain-specific language use in discussions of monetary policy held by the Federal Open Market Committee in the U.S. We take a corpus-based and discourse-analytic approach and explore the dynamics of turn-taking within this spoken genre based on a recently compiled corpus. In a bottom-up fashion, we explore the corpus with a view to documenting items used to manage the interaction in this formalised and highly specified communicative setting. The concordance and frequency functions of the corpus provide a good way of charting recurrent patterns in the sequential organisation of this discourse genre. Turn-taking is constrained in ways that are characteristic of the meeting genre. Parts of the meeting are dynamically interactive, while other parts are more monologic in nature. Transitions between speakers is regulated through various explicit and less explicit means. Although the chairperson has a particular role in this, the attendees also contribute to the regulation. Turn-regulating mechanisms are often formulaic in nature and turn transitions tend to co-occur with speech acts specific to the interactional setting, such as thanking, addressing a designated speaker, expressing agreement, asking for clarification, ensuring co-participation from others, etc. These functions vary according to their placement in the stretch of discourse that constitutes an agenda item or a meeting.  

How to Cite

Langerfeld, Christian, and Gisle Andersen. 2023. “The Dynamics of Turn-Taking in Meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee”. Fachsprache 45 (3-4):187-210.
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Corpus assisted discourse studies, FOMC, Monetary policy