Conversational Analysis

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Conversational Analysis
I: Definition of “conversational Analysis”
Treatment of conversation developed by sociologists in the early 1970s which concentrates on relations between successive “turns” on the operation of a hypothetical turn-taking system.” This system ensures (according to the hypothesis) that at any moment a specific speaker will have the floor, and that when their turn ends that of the next speaker will follow smoothly without (according to those proposing the hypothesis) an appreciable overlap, or intervening period of silence, or confusion as to who, in a conversation with several participants, it will be. Hence attempts to identify “transition relevance places”, specific devices by which one speaker selects the next, etc.

II: Developments in the study of “conversational analysis”
The study of the conversational analysis did not get developed until the end of 1970s. Before that period of time, the research of the field was mainly focusing on such areas as “greetings”, “encounter”, “insult”, all of which are clear in their structure.

Starting from 1960s, some sociologists, ethno-methodologists started their earnest study of the natural conversation. The most important people in this field of the research were 1) H. Sacks; E.A. Schegloff and G. Jefferson. They were not so much interested in the study of the language itself, instead they showed a great deal of interest in finding out the fact of how human beings were interacting with each other. However, the result of their analysis is of great significance to those who are interested in the study of the structure of the conversation, therefore, their result can be applied in the study of discourse. As Levinson (1983) put it well:“ Conversational analysis got started with a group of sociologists.”

2.1: Turn-taking The most important feature of a natural conversation is understood through the “turn-taking” process, that is to say, both the addresser and addressee play their roles in the

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