57 terms

CONVERSATION ANALYSIS

STUDY
PLAY
accountability
action that the one responsible for it can always be taken to account, having to explain or justify the action.
adjacency pair
a two-part sequence. The first part makes relevant the production of a second pair-part (Q&A, greeting-greeting, invitation-acceptance/declination).
analytic induction
strategy to produce general statements about a collection of instances. When a "deviant case" is encountered.
assessment
turn which expresses an evaluation reaction to an aspect of a preceding turn.
conditional relevance
in adjacency pairs, the expectability of a particular type of next action on the basis of the occurrence of an earlier one.
continuer
a short contribution like "uhuh" that invites continuation of the other speaker
Pure CA
linguistic interaction is studied in order to find out how conversations work in general.

How do speakers start a conversation?

What kinds of sequences can we observe? (question-answer, greeting-greeting, compliment-acceptance, ...).

How do speakers change the topic of conversation?

• focuses on the procedural study of talk-in-interaction "in itself" and "for itself".
• is motivated by the wish to discover basic and general aspects of sociality.
• can be used to study any kind of talk-in-interaction, whatever its context or purpose.
Applied CA
linguistic interaction in a specific setting is studied in order to find out more about that specific setting.

Who talks most in doctor-patient interactions? What does this tell us about the institution of medical care?

How do women and men interact in the workplace? What does this tell us about the social norms that are enacted?

• studies interactions with an institutional purpose, in order to discover how those interactions are organized as institutional interactions.
• involves CA-like practices but with wider concerns.
The concerns may be those of:
- sociology, anthropology, psychology, linguistics, etc.
- people who have a practical, moral, and/or political interest in the practices studied in terms of situations, organizations, and/or institutions that are co-constituted by those practices.
Why would talk be "an organised event"?
conversation is not chaotic
there is an underlying order that governs how speakers interact
this order is learned, re-enacted, and reinforced
sequential organization
What an utterance accomplishes communicatively depends on its position in a sequence of different utterances.
Example

When and where can you say « thank you », and what does it mean?
Contrastive properties of CA
It is a qualitative approach that always involves a close analysis of actually occurring language data.
It does not use experimentation, since it tries to minimize any influence the researcher might have on the data.
It is organizational and procedural - it focuses on descriptions of what people do, not on possible explanations why they might do it.
It focuses on spoken language in real-life situations, rather than on written language or invented examples of language.
What is an adjacency pairs?
1. They consist of 2 utterances that go together.
2. Two different speakers produce each utterance.
3. The utterances form a pair type (e.g. greeting-greeting, question-answer, offer-acceptance/refusal).
4. The utterances have a specific order.
what do telephone conversation openings have to do with adjacency pairs?
In telephone conversation openings, adjacency pairs show that there are procedural rules: the person who speaks first "can choose their form of address ... and can thereby choose the form of address the other uses"
What is "asking without using a question"?
"Hello, this is Paul Smith."
What is a "summons-answer sequence"?
It is an adjacency pair.
It establishes and aligns the roles of the speaker and hearer
It provides a summoner and a possible hearer, according to their availability/unavailability (e.g. telephone rings --> answers / doesn't answer)
What are SA's properties?
1. Non-terminability
2. Non-repeatability
3. Conditional relevance
4. Immediate juxtaposition
What is a "terminal exchange"?
It is an adjacency pair that terminates a conversation (bye-bye)
What are "possible pre-closings"?
Looking forward, making arrangement, looking backward, summary of conversation. Or phrases like "Anyways,
What is meant by the term "double fitting"?
"Double fitting" is a process involving changes in both the images ("understood transcripts") and the analytic frame, which leads to a representation of social life.
What is the "specimen perspective"?
The specimen perspective, in opposition to the factist perspective, is what we use when studying transcripts of recordings of episodes of naturally occurring interaction. This perspective cannot treat data as s statement about or a reflection of reality.
What is "deviant case analysis"?
The deviant case analysis is of the strategy of "analytic induction" the CA researcher uses in establishing regularities of interaction.
etic
first analytical approach
no prior assumptions about the subject matter (disinterested looking)
openness to observations
emic
when you have an idea of a phenomenon, you can see contrasts and oppositions (different types of repetition, different types of laughter)
you can construct a system (how many types are there, how do they differ)
you can study each individual type in that system
What are the seven basic assumptions of CA?
1. Order is a produced orderliness
2. Parties produce order in a specific context
3. Parties orient that order without any external influence
4. Order is repetitive and frequent
5. The analyst's task is to discover, describe, and analyse the produced orderliness.
6. The analyst has to ignore issues of how frequent specific phenomena occur. His task is to discover, describe, and analyse the structures, the machinery, the organized practices, and the formal procedures in which order is produced.
7. Once the analyst has determined structures of social action, he can describe those in different terms related to structure, organization, logic, consistency, etc.
Turn Construction Unit (TCU)
TCU means "turn constructional units". Turns are constructed as people talk and they form "units".

In these units, a part of an utterance produced by one speaker allows the second speaker to take the floor.
What is a TRP?
TRP stands for "transition relevance place". It is the moment when the first speaker finishes an utterance and the second speaker takes the floor (or not).

Cues to TRP: syntax, intonation, gaze, posture, ...

The hearer anticipates the TRP, starts with a new turn

Overlap as one speaker ends and the next begins
Why do CA transcripts include sounds such as inhalation or "uh" and "mhm"?
Because they may play a role and have interactional meaning, such as a claim to turn-taking.
Why and how are transcriptions "selective"?
Transcriptions are selective because they are designed to reveal specific features of conversation. They also depend on the researcher's interests and shouldn't be viewed as a literal representation of conversation.
Membership Category Analysis (MCA)
Analysis of the ways in which person-categories are used in talk and text.

Person categories depend on the situational context
customer - service provider
doctor - patient
passenger - ticket controller

Speakers orient towards these person categories in interaction
rights and responsibilities
specialized knowledge
competence

What social categories matter in the situation at hand?
Is the doctor still a doctor when she is on the train home after work?
Why are CA researchers looking at their data in an "unmotivated" way? Are they not motivated to do research?
It means that the researcher should be open to discovering phenomena of talk-in-interaction rather than searching for instances of already identified phenomena or from theoretical concepts.
What three elements should be present in an empirical account of a conversational pattern?
1. A formulation of what action or actions are being accomplished: it has to be exemplified with data displays and analyses.
2. A grounding of this formulation in the "reality" of participants: it involves the demonstration that the participants in the data have understood the utterance as doing that kind of action.
3. An explication of how a particular practice (utterance or action) can yield a particular and recognizable action.
What does it mean to "own" a pause?
The participant doesn't speak as he is doing a "secondary activity" (i.e. writing in the record) at the same time or when the other participant doesn't answer/take the turn.
What does it mean to say that utterances in conversation are "sequentially organized"?
It means that utterances "progress" in a specific order. The progression of those turns are usually based on adjacency pairs.
What do the terms pre-expansion and post-expansion mean?
It is the extension of a sequence, either before or after the core sequence (adjacency pair).
What is a "repairable"?
It's an utterance that can be reconstituted as the "trouble source" (misunderstanding for example) and can be "fixed" in different ways ("self-repair", "other-repair").
What is an NTRI?
NTRI stands for "Next turn repair initiator". It is usually initiated by the other participant with a short item like huh? What? It gives the original speaker an opportunity to self-repair the trouble source.
What is meant by the term "preference organization"?
It means that when alternative actions are open possibilities, one may be "preferred" and that the difference between "preferred" and "dispreferred" alternatives is demonstrated in the turn shape chosen for doing one or the other.
What is a CA data session?
A member brings in the data, and distribute a transcript.
The session starts with a period of hearing/seeing/reading the data.
Then, participants can submit some observations on the data, select an episode they find interesting and formulate their understanding or puzzlement.
After that, anyone can react to the remarks, offer alternatives, raise doubts, etc. In the end, the researcher gets a kind of mixture of substantial observations, methodological discussions and theoretical points.
What are "within-type comparisons" and "across-type comparisons"?
Within-type comparisons are those between a standard problem-solution pair with an exceptional/deviant case.
Across-type comparisons are those between informal or ordinary conversations and formal or institutional conversations
What is alignment display?
visual display of communicative interaction
body orientation
gaze
facial expression
nodding
What is "theoretical sampling"?
collecting examples of data that are relevant to the research question at hand and that inform a theoretical point
sampling is continued until saturation, which is the point at which any new example will be highly similar to an example that has been sampled already
What is a pre-question?
...
In what scenarios might statistics be useful in CA?
Statistics may be useful in CA when:
1. You want to isolate "interesting phenomena"
2. You want to consolidate your intuitions but you need to have a large number of cases
3. Cases in which independent findings about a conversational practice can have indirect statistical support
4. Almost all cases where a claim is made that the use or outcome of a particular interactional practice is tied to a particular social or psychological category.
Schegloff has studied repetitions that function to signal agreement. What features are present in such repetitions?
There are seven features present in repetitions to signal agreement:

1. They are repeated virtually
2. They are repeated identically
3. They are repeated in next turn
4. They are repeated by recipients of the first saying
5. The repeats embody a second or third position in their sequence
6. The repeats either are all of what is in the turn or are the first thing in the turn
7. The speaker of the initial saying is offering a candidate observation, interpretation, or understanding of the recipient's circumstances, current, or past
What general strategy does ten Have propose for an initial data exploration?
1. Try to use a substantial corpus of data which has not been pre-selected with any particular notion, expectation or hypothesis in mind and try to work with complete, start-to-finish recordings of events to be investigated
2. Try to make complete and detailed transcriptions of the recordings
3. Starting with an arbitrarily or purposively selected part of the transcript, work through the transcript in terms of a restricted set of analytically distinguished but interlocking "organizations": turn-taking organization, sequence organization, repair organization, and the organization of turn-design.
4. The task is to specify practice/action couplings available in the data. The researcher can do it in a variety of practical formats, as remarks, codes, observations.
5. Try to formulate some general observations, statements, or rules that tentatively summarize what has been seen.
6. Then, do the same with another piece of data in order to rework the summary as it has been revised with the additional data.
What are "alignment displays"?
Gaze, body posture, or the coordination of multiple activities and involvement aligned with the talk
What is institutional interaction?
Institutional interaction is a category of interactions taking place in different institutional settings. (at the doctor's, in class, police assistance, etc.)
What is meant by "restrictions" in institutional interaction?
It means that institutional interactions have more restrictions than those found in ordinary conversation, in the sense of having one or more kinds of actions, forms, or sequences that could be observed in conversation excluded from the specific institution's repertoire, or from a particular type of party's expected or tolerable range of available options.
What is pre-allocation?
pre-allocation
« given/assigned to a participant in advance »
interactional practices specify what a participant may or may not do
pre-allocation of a turn = the speaker has the right/obligation to carry out a specific turn
doctor-patient interaction = doctor can ask questions, write prescriptions, etc.
passenger-ticket controller = controller can ask to see tickets
What are institution relevant identities?
institutionally relevant identities
membership categorization devices
standardized relational pairs

Doctor-patient; teacher-student; etc.
What kinds of asymmetry are there in institutional interaction?
There are four kinds of asymmetry:
1) Asymmetries of participation: professionals often act in a task-based and directive manner.
2) Asymmetries of interactional and institutional "knowhow": the interaction is generally routine for the professional, whereas it is a unique event for the "layperson".
3) Epistemological caution and asymmetries of knowledge: professionals tend to act cautiously on the issues under discussion.
Also, professionals and clients often produce their relation as "expert vs. layperson", ignoring important aspects of lay experience.
4) Rights of access to knowledge: professionals have a "right to know", whereas clients don't have the "right to know". They tend to hide their knowledge on the issues under discussion.
What components of a survey question can be distinguished and how is a survey question different from an ordinary conversational question?
There are three components in a survey question:
1) A Question Delivery Component (QDC): units that asks the questions. It is sometimes preceded by:
2) A Question Target Component (QTC): the part of the turn used to develop a target for the eventually delivered question
3) A Personal Relevance Component: displays that the relevance of the question resides in the candidate's expressed experiences".

Survey questions are different from ordinary questions because they have multi-questioning turns. The turns are built out of multiple TCUs whereas in ordinary conversation, there is a pressure for the minimization of turn size.
What are some of the things that can go wrong in a telephone survey question?
- The respondent doesn't understand the question → the question is the trouble source. The interviewer has to initiate a repair by either repeating or paraphrasing the question.
- The respondent asks for clarification.
- The respondent starts answering the question as soon as a QDC has been heard, before the answer options.
What is the difference between turn-by-turn interviews and discourse unit interviews?
Turn-by-turn (TbT) interviews consist of a fast turnover of small question-answer sequences, starting with relatively simply shaped, one-unit question turns. TbT interviews are used with quite general and non-specialized topics, Regarding the distribution of knowledge, the cognitive structure of the topical field is supposed to be so general that any member of the interview has access to its structure.

Discourse unit (DU) interviews start with a complex turn in which the interviewer gives some information requested, often inviting a story-like format. In regard to the distribution of knowledge, the informant is considered here as a kind of expert on the knowledge
What are "the critical news approach" and "the positive news approach"?
1. The "critical news approach": Things are not as they appear, and people have it wrong.

This approach offers a sustained critique of conventional and established conceptions of the organization of social life and of practical application of knowledge based on such conceptions

2. The "positive news approach": X is organized this way and is important to know.
What are "alternative and augmentative communication systems"?
They are different ways of communicating (e.g. sign language, gestures, facial expressions, devices that can help people with communication problems)

AAC - alternative and augmentative communication systems
«natural speakers» = speakers without impairments
AAC users = speakers with speech impairments
in AAC, natural speakers take over some of the conversational moves that belong to the AAC users
e.g. »offer» a closing as a possible move, invite acceptance by the AAC user
the contributions by AAC users are «augmented» by the natural speakers
e.g. case of one aphasic speaker who can just say «yes», «no» and produce gestures with one hand
conversation is a collaborative achievement
ordinary conversational methods are adapted to the speech impairments at hand
What does it mean to "objectify gender categories and conversational phenomena"?
objectification
assume that categories as pre-existing and stable, when in fact they are discursively created and dynamic
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