Designing Talk for Humans and Horses: Prosody as a Resource for Parallel Recipient Design

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This analysis shows how, in horse-riding lessons, riding instructors use prosody and other sound patterns to design their talk for human and equine recipients at the same time, while orienting to distinct contributions from each. Practices for doing so include nonlexical vocalizations, marked prosodic delivery, and conventionalized lexical-prosodic bundles. Parallel recipient design allows turn-holders to pursue a single activity that is to be performed jointly by the recipient pair. Parallel recipient design is shown to be distinct from alternating recipient design, to be found during multiactivity. Parallel recipient design can be delivered consecutively, with talk designed to mobilize the rider followed by talk designed to mobilize the horse; or simultaneously, with lexical items performing one action to the rider and their prosodic delivery performing another action to the horse. The data are recordings of naturally occurring horse-riding lessons, mostly in English; some data are in German, with English translations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-115
Number of pages27
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2023


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