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    Definition and Previous Studies of Conversation Analysis

    发布时间:2019-07-27 来源:www.boshuolunwen123.com  作者:博硕论文辅导网

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    Definition and Previous Studies of Conversation Analysis
    Discourse analysis can be divided into textual analysis and conversation analysis,and the  subject of textual  analysis is  written discourse,  while the  subject of conversation analysis is the process of verbal communication (Yang, 2000). As the most basic model of human communication system, conversation has several  distinguished  features,  such  as  looseness,  instantaneity,  unpredictable,provisionality and it doesn't need a longer period of time to prepare or post modification. Thus, it is regarded as a powerful tool in the process of cognition and contacting with others. In addition, conversation is not a monologue in non-interactive context or a one-way transmission of message but mutual exchange of information between the speaker and the hearer. The basic structural unit of daily conversation is called "turn", which is the continuous utterance at any time, and usually ended by the role exchange of speaker and hearer or the silence of the participants. (Wang, 2010)1.Definition of Conversation Analysis。
          Conversation refers to the verbal communication activities between two or more people. As a basic form of daily communication, it exists in all the language activities and is considered as one of the most important functions of human language. However,it would be restricted to the conversation rules sometimes. Conversation analysis focuses on the interaction between participants in the conversation. (Dai, 2007)     Language is  a tool of communication  and  conversation.  As  a means  of communication, the structure of it has its own rules. Different scholars have various definitions on "conversation analysis" from different perspectives. It may refer to the study of any conversation, for example, at the beginning of conversation analysis, scholars focused on face to face conversation or chat through certain scholars began to shift medics.With the improvement of the conversation theory, the their focus to all kinds  of  conversations,  which  also  benefited  from  the  development  of  the ethnomethodology.
        The  Cambridge  Encyclopedia  of  Language  (Crystal,  1987)  defines  the conversation analysis as "The moves made by speakers to introduce a new topic, change the topic, or insert a higher role relationship to the other participants".
        Sinclair&Coulthard (1975) hold that conversation analysis is the study of discourse grammar. The conversation analysis is defined as the study on cohesion and coherence of discourse.  Widdowson (1979) gives the definition of conversation analysis from the perspective of discourse function, and he thinks it is "the study of sentence for the purpose of completing the social behavior".
        Van Dijk (1977) and Hallidy (1978) would like to define it as an activity to reveal how people understand each other; their definition is given according to the social linguistics.
        Stubbs (1983) divides conversation analysis to the naturally occurring coherence spoken or written language according to the object and content of conversation analysis.
    2.Previous Studies of Conversation Analysis
        The previous studies on conversation analysis were mainly focused on discourse norms and how to communicate. During this period, the representative scholars were mainly Harvey Sacks, Emanuel Schegloff and Gail Jefferson (1974), their studies on conversation analysis  started from daily conversation,  which were also largely influenced by Erving Goffman and Harold Garfinkel. Goffman's (1983) structure analysis about the system of different concepts which was named "the interaction order" provided a new research field for Sacks  and his fellow  students.  After  1970,conversation analysis became a great concern of scholars in academic field, and in 1978, Hallidy pointed out the importance of conversation analysis in the development of linguistics.
        The study on ethnomethodology of Garfinkel became the main driving force of setting up conversation analysis field, and the model of conversation analysis was first analyzed by the sociologist such as Sacks, Schegloff and Jefferson (1973), who were representatives of the conversational analysts. They thought that the conversation is a process of constantly changing and selection. Through the observation and analysis on conversation, they found a common phenomenon existing in the conversation: only one speaker speaks at a time and the speaker changes alternately. Based on their findings, they put forward the famous theory called "turn-taking model". This model included turn construction, turn allocation and rules which need to follow (Schegloff and Sacks, 1973; Schegloff, 1968). This was the first time they introduced the concept of turn, adjacency pair, sequence, turn-taking, the beginning and the end of the conversation in conversation analysis. (Dai, 2007)

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