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29. The Grammar of Conversation


Subject Linguistics

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405113823.2006.00030.x


Conversation has long been recognized as the most basic form of human communication, and as a result it has received a great deal of attention from scholars in linguistics, sociology, anthropology, and philosophy. These scholars have developed several different approaches to the study of conversation. Perhaps the best known of these has come to be known as Conversation Analysis. This approach, with its focus on ‘talk-in-interaction,’ has made important contributions to our understanding of how speakers interact by examining conversational constructs such as turn-taking (e.g., Ford, Fox, and Thompson 2002 ; Sacks, Schegloff, and Jefferson 1974 ; Schegloff 2000a , 2001), repair (e.g., Schegloff 1997a , 1997b, 2000b; Wong 2000a ), and adjacency pairs (e.g., Schegloff and Sacks 1973 ). Pragmatics, through its ‘meaning-in-interaction’ perspective, is another subfield which has contributed much to our understanding of conversation. Among other topics, this approach has focused on speech acts (e.g., Austin 1962 ; Sbisa 2002 ; Searle 1969 ), implicature (e.g., Grice 1975 , 1989; Horn 1984 ), conversational relevance (e.g., Sperber and Wilson 1986a ; Wilson and Sperber 2002 ), politeness (e.g., Bargiela-Chiappini 2003 ; Brown and Levinson 1987 ; Kasper, 1990 ), and cross-cultural pragmatics (e.g., Blum-Kulka, House-Edmondson, and Kasper 1989 ; Boxer 2002 ; Spencer-Oatey ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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