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Conversation analysis aspects and goal in detail

Conversation analysis

Conversation analysis focuses on the way oral communication is organized in everyday exchanges. Describes verbal interaction practices as basic activities that regulate social life. The word, from this point of view, reproduces and explains the social roles played by the members of a given society and the way it is structured. Conversation analysis aspects and goal

The term conversation analysis was introduced by H. Sacks and spread by EA Schegloff in 1968. In anthropology and sociology studies of that time, the origin of interest in conversation in the United States is within the limits of anthropology and sociology; hence its connections with ethnography, and, more specifically, with the ethnography of communication, which takes as its object and as a source of study analysis the linguistic activities that characterize a certain community, and relates them to its social context and to the communicative situation.

The central question of this perspective is how the participants cooperatively use the conversation to carry out social actions. We work for this with empirical data and inductively. Conversational interaction is conceived as an institutionalized social practice subject to laws with empirical regularities. This constitutes an autonomous field of research, accessed through scientific observation techniques. The analysis of the conversation is based on the recording of natural interactions in varied situations, which explains that in the relevant works of this current research, a wide space is dedicated to describing the procedures of the constitution of the corpus (recording and especially transcription) . This methodological basis is essential since decidedly inductive,

After analyzing various aspects in many conversations (structural organization of the conversation, taking conversational turns, type of contribution of each participant, overlaps, interruptions, etc.), social factors such as sex, social class, status are studied. , ethnicity, etc., or psychological attitudes to the interlocutor or to the topic of the conversation, such as passivity, aggressiveness, etc., which are constructed and reproduced through the verbal exchange. In this way, the linguist incorporates into his conception of the statement verbal as activity or act, its interactional conception. This has given rise to studies on communicative units not considered so far: interruption analysis, intonation resources to express new ideas, way of delimiting the topics in the conversation, integration of the verbal and the non-verbal, support markers (such as ah, well, etc.), gestures, looks or silences, all of which is reflected in the detailed transcriptions that are made.

Basic assumptions of  Conversion analysis

Conversion analysis is based on three basic assumptions

1-The conversation is structured

The conversation contains invariant patterns – that is, it is structured. Participants are aware of the rules underlying the patterns. As a result, converse analysts refrain from trying to infer the speaker’s motivation from what he said or to attribute their conversation to individual characteristics. Such information is unnecessary because the conversion analyst is focused on the underlying structures that manifest in the conversation.

2-The conversation is contextualized

The action is found in the conversation and the conversation as such needs to be analyzed in terms of its context. This means that we must try to understand what the person is saying in terms of the ongoing conversation and therefore treat the conversation as one that exhibits a certain sequence or pattern. Conversation analysis aspects and goal

3-Analysis is data driven

Conversation analysts reject preliminary theoretical frameworks and instead argue that the characteristics of the conversation in each empirical case must be deduced inductively from the data.

Aspects of conversation analysis

The analysis of the conversation covers, among other aspects, the following:

  1. The study of conversational rules, which are those that regulate, for example, the use of formulas to start or end a conversation, or when it is convenient to speak or remain silent.
  2. The identification of speaking turns, that is, when and how each of the interlocutors adopts the role of speaker or listener in a conversation.
  3. The structure of the conversation, that is, how the interlocutors’ interventions are related and how they are broken down into adjacent pairs (for example, question-answer, complaint-apology, or invitation-acceptance / rejection).
  4. The application of the so-called conversational maxims, that is, implicit rules that govern communicative exchanges, such as the maximum amount (give as much information as required, but no more than is necessary) or the relationship (ensure that said information is relevant, that is, that it conforms to what is requested). These maxims work in turn from the so-called “principle of cooperation”, a term coined by HP Grice (1975), by which the speakers commit to collaborate to facilitate communicative exchanges.
  5. The study of the functions of the conversation, for example, if it is used to show courtesy or to promote trust between the interlocutors.

The goal of conversation analysis

“CA is the study of conversation in recorded interaction, which occurs naturally. But what is the objective of studying these interactions? Mainly, it is to discover how the participants understand and respond to each other in their turns in the conversation, with a central focus on how action sequences are generated. To put it another way, CA’s goal is to uncover the tacit reasoning procedures and sociolinguistic competencies underlying the production and interpretation of conversation in organized sequences of interaction. ” Conversation analysis aspects and goal

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