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Hidden in plain sound: overlooked repetition in Just a Minute

Wray, Alison ORCID: 2023. Hidden in plain sound: overlooked repetition in Just a Minute. Yearbook of Phraseology 14 (1) , pp. 33-88. 10.1515/phras-2023-0004
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In the BBC Radio Four panel game Just a Minute (JaM), players must speak fluently for one minute without hesitation, deviation, or repetition. Other players challenge them and take over the remainder of the minute if successful. What impact do the JaM rules have on players’ spoken output? Study 1 compares twelve unchallenged JaM minutes with twelve sample minutes from an interview by the same speaker, Paul Merton. Although lower, his repetition rate in JaM is still >34%. Study 2 asks why so many repeated words go unchallenged. Analysis of 97 JaM rounds (18,500 words) from 12 complete episodes reveals that word class, word frequency, and the distance between mentions all play a role. The parameters of challenges in the game are modeled and there is consideration of why and how repetition occurs in a language and how the wider priorities of JaM as entertainment shape the linguistic patterns.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Publisher: De Gruyter
ISSN: 1868-632X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 June 2023
Date of Acceptance: 11 June 2023
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2023 15:59

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