A Review of Silence in Conversation: Discoursal Perspective

Document Type : Review Article


English Department, Najaf Abad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Najafabad, Iran


Silence in conversations semantically carries varied interpretations. Since silence is a component of discontinuity in speech, it arises relatively rarely in confrontational discourse that is distinguished by continuous speaking flow and rapid turn-taking. This study sets out to investigate the purposes behind interruptions, the meanings of silences in conversations, and also pause and differences to analyze their power roles encrypted in silence. In terms of silence, the meanings behind it are highly dependent on what is uttered prior to or after the occurrence of silence. Silences can indicate topic switch, speaker’s wish to continue the same topic, and disagreement. In a conversation, silences lead to awkward situations among speakers and show trouble in conversation flow, but the results of the study show that conversational flow induces a sense of belonging and positive self-esteem.


Article Title [Persian]


Abstract [Persian]


Volume 2, Issue 1 - Serial Number 1
ISBN 9783899664812
January 2022
Pages 51-67
  • Receive Date: 12 January 2022
  • Revise Date: 18 February 2022
  • Accept Date: 16 March 2022