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Temporal Imperative

Temporal imperative refers to a socially constructed and mutually shared time constraint during interactions. Any sort of joint communication activity is subject to the temporal imperative, including spoken language use, making facial gestures, or using an assistive communication device such as a letter board. Language use cannot be reduced to autonomous actions of the individual participants but has to be treated as a coordinated set of interactions designed and deployed for jointly carrying out social activities. In such a perspective, time and timing issues have to be treated as issues that simultaneously involve and affect both speakers and addressees. Consequently, any problems in communication are jointly shared. When someone is communicating, their time is also performed in their addressees’ time, and vice versa.

By speaking, participants ...

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