Menu
Home
Log in / Register
 
Home arrow Environment arrow Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches
Source

Conversation Analysis

Conversation analysis is the search for the grammar of ordinary discourse, or talk- in-interaction. It is the study of how people take turns in ordinary discourse—who talks first (and next, and next), who interrupts, who waits for a turn.

If you listen carefully to ordinary conversations between equals, you’ll hear a lot of sentence fragments, false starts, interruptions, overlaps (simultaneous speech), and repeating of words and phrases. It may sound messy at first, but as students of conversation have learned, there is order in all that seeming chaos as participants respond to each other (even in strong disagreements and shouting matches) and take turns (Goodwin 1981:55).

The rules of turn-taking are, like the rules of grammar that govern the formation of sentences, known to native speakers of any language. But unlike the other rules of grammar, the rules for taking turns are flexible, and allow turn-taking to be negotiated, on the fly, by participants in a conversation. At the molecular level, then, every conversation is unique, but the study of many conversational exchanges can expose the general rules, within and across cultures, that govern how conversations start, evolve, and end.

Transcriptions

To identify turns and other features of conversations, you need detailed records of actual talk-in-interaction. The tactic for signaling the intention to take a turn or to repair a broken turn sequence maybe words or they maybe prosodic features of speech (intonation, length of vowels, stress, and so on), or they may be breaths, tokens (like er, ummm, eh), or even gestures or gazes. Coding schemes have been devised for marking all these different features.

The system most widely used for transcribing speech was developed by Gail Jefferson Conventions for recording gestures and gazes were developed by Charles Goodwin (1994). Table 18.1 provides the common conventions for transcribing conversations (Further Reading: transcription).

 
Source
Found a mistake? Please highlight the word and press Shift + Enter  
< Prev   CONTENTS   Next >
 
Subjects
Accounting
Business & Finance
Communication
Computer Science
Economics
Education
Engineering
Environment
Geography
Health
History
Language & Literature
Law
Management
Marketing
Mathematics
Political science
Philosophy
Psychology
Religion
Sociology
Travel