Category Archives: Human Communication 101

Question 3: Respondent Role?

ca101 CA in action Q3

A respondent role? In the extract we are examining, there are no instances of Jim initiating talk – all his utterances are simple acknowledgement tokens. He demonstrates his orientation to Tom’s extended talk, signaling his ongoing recipiency through the production of the continuers mm and yeah. As we have seen, these tokens are specifically interpretable […]

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Question 2: Function of Minimal Turns?

ca101 CA in action Q2

What is the function of minimal turns? Recall that, from an examination of our example transcript for recurrent patterns in the data (see Step 4), we noted that Jim appeared to be using a disproportionate number of minimal turns. Consequently, this led us to pose the following second research question: What is the function of Jim’s minimal turns in […]

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Question 1: Who Speaks Most?

ca101 CA in action Q1

In our ongoing analysis of the example transcript, recall that the first research question that we posed (see Step 5: Ask Questions) following an examination of the conversation data was: Who speaks most? Discussion We have already noted that both Tom and Jim each take 10 turns at talk in this extract. This may suggest symmetry in […]

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Step 5: Ask Questions

ca101 step 5 Ask Questions

Pose research questions Now, we indicated (see Conversation Analysis) earlier that, whilst CA resists premature theorizing, the interplay between repeated listening to audio recordings and examination of transcriptions leads to the generation of research questions. So, having identified that Jim appears to be only taking minimal turns at talk, and considering the definition of conversation […]

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Step 4: Identify Patterns

ca101 step 4 Identify Patterns

Identify recurrent patterns Having now gained a feel for the overarching structure and some sense of the interactional business (see Step 3), the next step is to determine whether or not there are any recurrent patterns in the data. Take another look at the transcript and see if you can identify any patterns. Remember that conversation […]

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Step 3: Determine Business

ca101 step 3 Determine Business

Determine the interactional business Again, using an unmotivated approach, re-read the transcript that we used in Step 1 (transcript is reproduced here) and try to determine what sort of interactional business may be taking place (e.g. what is taking place in the interaction, what topics are discussed). Comments It is apparent that the topic of discussion is holidays […]

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Step 2: Determine Structure

ca101 step 2 Determine Structure

Determine the overarching structure Having made a transcription of the conversation to be analyzed (Step 1), it is then necessary to read through the transcript several times. The initial purpose is simply to identify some of the overarching structural features (e.g. exchange structure, turn-taking system) of the conversation. So, reread the transcript a few more […]

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Step 1: Transcribe

ca101 step 1 Transcribe

Naturalistic data Let us begin by assuming that you have audio-recorded a conversation. Naturalistic data is the bedrock of conversation analysis, so we will use a short extract from a real world, 10-minute conversation that I recorded several years ago in order to exemplify the procedure. The conversation was between two adult males and took […]

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Appendix 2: Conversation Extract

ca101 conversation extract

Extract 1. Conversation between Tom and Jim. 01 Tom:  it’s nice though ’cause I mean I’ve I’ve 02       been various places in Spain (.) for two weeks 03 Jim:  mm 04 Tom:  and er: erm you know it’s okay 05 Jim:  yeah 06 Tom:  the food’s reasonable (..) the 07       things are: (.) //a li*ttle 08 Jim:                    mm 09 Tom:  bit (.) a […]

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Appendix 1: Transcription Conventions

ca101 transcription conventions

Transcription conventions Different analysts highlight different features of talk as being important to their research purposes. Consequently, there are several published sets of transcription conventions available. Having said this, I have found the following conventions to be particularly useful: they can almost certainly be profitably used for a number of purposes. They are essentially those […]

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