Intrusive or co-operative? A cross-cultural study of interruption

Kumiko Murata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Citations (Scopus)


This paper highlights how interruptions are used within the system of turn-taking, referring to the rules of turn-taking set out by Sacks et al. (1974), and classifying the kinds of interruption used by conversational participants. I classify interruption into two main types: co-operative and intrusive. Intrusive interruption is further divided into three types: topic-changing, floor-taking, and disagreement interruptions. The occurence of these different types of interruption is examined in the data from three different interactions; NSE-NSE (Native Speakers of English), NSJ-NSJ (Native Speakers of Japanese), and NSE-JSE (Japanese Speakers of English) interactions. It is noted that the frequency of the use of the different types of interruption varies across cultures. Furthermore, this paper discusses interruption from the perspective of the sociocultural values attached to its use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-400
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language


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