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The Significance of Gaps in Conversation

In any conversation, a gap refers to a moment of silence at the end of a turn. This happens when the current speaker does not select the next speaker or when no one in the conversation has volunteered to speak. Gaps commonly occur between turns, but they may also arise within a speaker's turn.

It's important to note that while lapses and pauses may also involve periods of silence in a conversation, they are distinct from gaps. A lapse happens when the topic changes after a longer silence, while a pause is a moment of quiet within a speaker's turn.

There are two types of inter-turn silences: gaps and lapses. Gaps occur when no one has been nominated as the next speaker, while lapses take place after a longer period of silence and involve a change in topic.

The Nature of Gaps in Conversation

A gap refers to a brief silence at the end of a turn in a conversation. This occurs when the current speaker does not choose the next speaker or when no one has stepped up to speak. These silences are usually short and occur between turns in a conversation.

Distinguishing Gaps from Lapses

Although both gaps and lapses are forms of inter-turn silence, there is a crucial difference between them. Gaps occur during a topic and commonly between turns, whereas lapses involve a change in topic after a longer period of silence.

The Difference Between Silent and Filled Pauses

In a conversation, both silent and filled pauses indicate that a speaker is thinking. The key distinction lies in the vocalization of these pauses. A filled pause involves vocalizing, while a silent pause does not involve any sound from the speaker.

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