Conversation Analysis (CA) is a research tradition that grew out of ethnomethodology and studies the social organization of 'conversation', or 'talk-in-interaction', by means of a detailed inspection of tape recordings and transcriptions made from such recordings. The orderliness of conversation as a social event is seen as the product of the systematic deployment of specifiable interactional methods or 'devices', which can be identified through the analysis of conversational episodes in authentic speech data.
In this seminar students will become familiar with the main methods, analytic techniques and findings of CA and will carry out some case studies in the most important domains of organization in conversation, including turn-taking, action-sequencing, repairs, openings and closings, and action formation (e.g. banter, telling a story). Additionally, we will focus on the linguistic devices employed for the management of organizational problems in interactions, above all problems with the construction of turns and with preference organization (preferred and dispreferred actions).
Suggested introductory reading: Hutchby, Ian and Robin Wooffitt. 2008. Conversation Analysis. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Polity Press.