A Conversational Analysis of Selected Episodes of "Hard Talk" And "Bil-Harf Al-Wahid" Programmes


Interruption, as a conversational strategy, can be employed to achieve different functions in conversation. This study deals with conversation analysis as a main method of the study. It aims at analyzing conversational interruptions and their interactive effects between the interviewer (IR) and the interviewee (IE) in different political statuses, and to identify different types of interactional response tokens practiced by the IR and IE within the political context. The problem of the study is that interruption may have different forms. In this case, investigating interruption types is necessary to know how interruption usually occurs and the purposes behind it.This study used a quantitative and a qualitative method to describe the phenomena under study. The data of study are selected from videos of Two episodes of BBC Hard Talk (a British programme) and Bil Harf Al-Wahid (an Iraqi programme) with prominent political figures. Utterances are the unit of analysis in this study.The model adopted in this study is an eclectic one consisting of: Ferguson classification of interruption types (1977), Murataʼs theory of interruption functions (1994) and Gardinerʼs classification of backchannels (2001). To validate the aims of the study, some hypotheses are suggested:1. Interruption phenomenon is associated with the interviewer who has the main role in controlling the whole interview.2. Both English and Arabic TV programmes exhibit different types and functions of interruptions because of the controversy inside the interview.3. There is a difference between English and Arabic political programmes with regard to the backchannels and their classifications. The main conclusions the study arrived at are: (1) In both programmes ″BBC Hard Talk″ and ″Biel Harf Al-Wahid ″, most instances of interruption are associated with the interviewer (IR) who has the main role in controlling the whole discussion, and this achieves the first hypothesis. (2) In the Iraqi programme ″Bil Harf Al-Wahid″ all types of interruption occur in most of the episodes. On the contrary, in ″BBC Hard Talk″ program in which not all types of interruption occur. (3) In ″BBC Hard Talk″ programme, head nods are more frequent non vocal backchannels used by the interviewer. They are employed more than the vocal backchannel while, in ″Bil Harf Al-Wahid″ programme, the interviewer uses variant types of vocal backchannel. The expression mm is the most frequent one followed by zen.