Talk:Conversation analysis

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Comment by[edit]

In the edit [1], a comment was inserted, forming the following paragraph.

Unlike other methods of discourse analysis, conversation analysis attempts to include only information present in a conversation itself, ignoring social elements such as the relationship between participants or the setting. Rather than deleting this last sentence, I would want to say that it is a very common misconception about conversation analytic research. It might be more accurate to say that CA requires the relevance for the participants or the consequentiallity for the interaction be demonstrated before invoking one or another correct formulations of relationship or setting.

Any comments? jnothman talk 10:57, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

My opinion is that the article as it currently stands on this aspect makes CA appear either absurd or for the inference to be drawn that the conversation is being analysed without reference to any "content" or "meaning" that might be being developed through it. I would therefore say that it needs expansion in order to clarify this. LookingGlass (talk)

subject index addition[edit]

I added the section headed "Subject Index of the Conversation Analytic Literature" in order to initiate creation of a valuable tool for conversation analysts, and discourse analysts in general. Conversation analysts have identified many, many specific interactional phenomena--so many that it is difficult for even veteran readers of the literature to keep track of all of the phenomena, much less where they have been referenced. This section will also act as a kind of extended glossary--anyone who wants to understand a phenomena need only look up the literature on that phenomena. It is hoped that many in the conversation analytic community--particularly including authors of research articles--will continually contribute to this page to create an up-to-date, comprehensive, and powerful resource. Xianknelson 19:50, 8 February 2006 (UTC)xianknelson

We might want to place criteria of entry on this list. I would rather only formative works on each subject, and generally not new and unsupported research. jnothman talk 23:19, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
I've altered the intro. to this list not only to help readers filter the citations but also indicate criteria for listing citations. In addition, I've reinstituted the use of a definition list, not only because I think definitions should be listed after each subject, but also because listing each citation on a separate line could make for a very long and unnecessarily unwieldly list.Xianknelson 01:48, 9 February 2006 (UTC)xianknelson

From local user needs more information.

external links[edit]

I changed the URL for the post-89 bib., to one that I know is the newest. I remembered that maintenance of the one I first posted is not guaranteed--the second site was created by the creator of the first site when he retired from his school, which hosts the first site. I also added a link to the overall website in which the bib. is located, as it contains a wealth of information about the CA community.Xianknelson 02:36, 9 February 2006 (UTC)xianknelson

Intro edit[edit]

I added the stuff about terminology to the end of the first paragraph because the term *conversation* analysis has proved so confusing to non-CAists. I know terminology might seem to be an extraneous topic, but in this case it is very important to deal with up front so people don't anchor on a very wrong notion of what CA's phenomenon of interest is (and is not). BTW, if anyone knows how to link the citation of Levinson (1983) to the bibliographic entry in the reference list at the bottom of the page I'd be much obliged. I can't seem to be able to create an anchor, etc.Xianknelson 15:16, 9 February 2006 (UTC)xianknelson

Needs a History[edit]

This article needs a brief history of CA and areas in which CA has been useful, such as institutional interaction. (talk) 03:21, 7 April 2008 (UTC)


With the development of CA as a normative discipline regarding the "discovery" of the rules of discourse, ethnomethodology has come full circle. It has now become exactly what it sought to replace in its initial formulation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:55, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Well there is a first-time-through for you. This is probably just as well. Deconstruction only gets you so far. Also, the fact that some kind of analysis is possible does not thereby destroy the object of analysis. It is not so clear, by the way, that ethnomethodology ever sought to replace a particular thing. Benjamin J. Moore (talk) 15:10, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Interactional linguistics[edit]

Users interested in CA may be interested in Interactional linguistics, an approach to grammar based in part on CA. I have created an article on the subject. Cnilep (talk) 15:37, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. Interesting to hear of, what I see somehow as "splinter fields": interactional sociolinguistics and interactional linguistics, and also to read the stubs on them but I've come away feeling that it'd actually be better to have one article (is CA the right one?) to deal with analysis/theories of conversation as a general subject. I cannot imagine that the overlaps between these two and CA are not immense nor that separating work relating to them as clearly relating to one and not another would be possible, even if it was deemed helpful. The distinctions seem to me to be academic, something like The Judean People's Liberation Army vs. The People's Liberation Army of Judea sort of a thing? It seems to me that any such broad-church article could be more concise than the current CA one is on CA (without losing any information) but expanded to include the other two (any any others?). Thoughts? LookingGlass (talk) 00:29, 22 January 2013 (UTC)


Interruption in conversations is a topic studied in CA that gets no attention in the article but deserves a section. If someone has time to do s.t. about it (for the next couple of months I won't), a much cited classical study on the influence of sex roles on interrupting behaviour is the one by Zimmerman and West (1975), and a whole chapter (Chapter 7: Who's Interrupting: Issues of Dominance and Control) is spent on the topic in the well-known and popular 1990 book You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation by Deborah Tannen. There is much more material. Not all of it is directly related to sex roles; see e.g. Talbot (1992).

  • Don H. Zimmerman and Candace West (1975). "Sex roles, interruptions and silences in conversation". Language and Sex: Difference and Dominance. Newbury House. pp. 105–129. ISBN 0-88377-043-1.  Text "isbn 0-88377-043-1 " ignored (help)
  • Mary Talbot (November 1992). "'I wish you'd stop interrupting me!': Interruptions and asymmetries in speakers-rights in equal encounters". Journal of Pragmatics. 18 (5): 451–466. doi:10.1016/0378-2166(92)90084-O. 

 --Lambiam 11:04, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Relieved to read this as I came (via a Google search for any existing terminology that I might use) to this article full of hopes, only to be a little disappointed. The nomeclature of "turns" described here infers something far more orderly and managed than any real/non-stage-managed conversation. So ... as the "couple of months" is now over ;) .... any chance of you doing the edit you identify (and maybe if there's time over a bit of a "haircut" for the article might be good)?? Here's hoping anyway. LookingGlass (talk) 00:17, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
Wrong moment to ask – I'm even more strapped for time now.  --Lambiam 20:34, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
The turn-taking section, as you have observed, needs improvement. I have created a separate comment for those considerations. Regarding interruption, this topic falls under the larger topic of overlap. As the phenomenon of overlap is a substantial part of conversation and has a well-developed body of research, it merits its own section. I suggest creating a overlap section that includes a discussion of distinction and connection between interruption and overlap. The role of overlap in the turn-taking system is mentioned by Schegloff, Sacks, and Jefferson (1974), pg. 706-708. Following their paper, major research on overlap has been led by Gail Jefferson. Formative sources include Jefferson (1984) and Jefferson (1986). While the sources mentioned by Lambiam are scholarly articles relevant to the topic of interruption, it's important to first consider the basic foundations of overlap and interruption in CA in order to stay in line with Wikipedia's goal to provide a solid summary of main points without going into too much detail (See Good article criteria)
  • Sacks, Harvey; Schegloff, Emanuel A.; Jefferson, Gail (1974). "A simplest systematics for the organization of turn-taking for conversation". Language. 50 (4): 696–735. doi:10.1353/lan.1974.0010. 
  • Jefferson, Gail (1984). D'Urso, Valentina, ed. "Notes on some orderlinesses of overlap onset". Discourse Analysis and Natural Rhetoric. Padua: Cleup. 
  • Jefferson, Gail (1986). "Notes on 'latency' in overlap onset". Human Studies. 9 (2-3): 153–183. doi:10.1007/bf00148125. 

--Brianna W. (talk) 21:31, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

"Inspired by Goffman"[edit]

how can the work from 60ties and 70ties be inspired by 1983 article by Goffman? There is some mistake here, either in citation or in facts presented (talk) 09:00, 28 August 2013 (UTC) karotka

'Turn-taking organization' section improvement[edit]

The turn-taking section, while containing the foundation for most of the key elements of turn-taking, has ample room for improvement regarding the level of detail, citations, and accuracy. Reviewing the literature demonstrates that the current section mis-represents one of the key premises of turn-taking theory, which is the procedures are not a set of prescriptive rules that speakers must adhere to, but rather that a set of rules that speakers appear to tacitly and cooperatively enact. Edits to this section should incorporate a more accurate portrayal of the ideas in Schegloff (2007) & Sacks, Schegloff, & Jefferson (1974). This topic is also covered in textbooks such as Hutchby & Wooffitt (2008), Chapter 2.

  • Schegloff, Emanuel A. (2007). Sequence organization in interaction a primer in conversation analysis (1. publ. ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521532792. 
  • Sacks, Harvey; Schegloff, Emanuel A.; Jefferson, Gail (1974). "A simplest systematics for the organization of turn-taking for conversation". Language. 50 (4): 696–735. doi:10.1353/lan.1974.0010. 
  • Hutchby, Ian; Wooffitt, Robin (2008). Conversation analysis (2nd ed. ed.). Cambridge: Polity. ISBN 9780745638652. 

--Brianna W. (talk) 21:35, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

'Methods' section - addition of citations and transcription[edit]

The methods section needs to be expanded to include more detailed information with citations. For one, the first sentence begins with "As in all research", which is making major global claim. Such claims should be avoided unless they can be sufficiently cited and corroborated. Therefore, I do not think such a sentence is necessary or appropriate in this section. Regarding building up the description of the core of CA methods, I suggest utilizing Chapter 2 of Hutchby & Wooffitt (2008). Furthermore, the section is completely lacking any mention of transcription, which is an integral part of CA methods. A mention of transcription would benefit from including the Jefferson system, described in Atkinson and Heritage (1984) and Jefferson (2004). It should also include GAT 2 system developed by German conversational analysts in 1998, GAT2.

  • Hutchby, Ian; Wooffitt, Robin (2008). Conversation analysis (2nd ed. ed.). Cambridge: Polity. ISBN 9780745638652. 
  • Atkinson, J. Maxwell; Heritage, John, eds. (1984). Structures of social action : studies in conversation analysis. Cambridge [u.a.]: Cambridge Univ. Press. 
  • Jefferson, Gail (2004). "Glossary of transcript symbols with an introduction". In Lerner, G. H. Conversation Analysis: Studies from the First Generation. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. pp. 13–31. 

--Brianna W. (talk) 22:12, 3 September 2016 (UTC)