Abstracts from Volume 48, Issue 1, 2015

The current issue of the journal has four substantive articles , plus an intriguing debate on whether, or how, one might square coding one’s data with doing Conversation Analysis.

The debate: Coding and CA. The debate features a thoughtful, well-considered position piece by Tanya Stivers (UCLA, USA), then two extremely helpful and insightful commentaries: one by Jakob Steensig (Aarhus University, Denmark) and Trine Heinemann (Helsinki University, Finland), and the other by Aug Nishizaka (Chiba University, Japan).

Tanya Stivers:
“Coding Social Interaction: A Heretical Approach in Conversation Analysis?”

Conversation Analysis has come to be the dominant approach to the systematic study of social interaction. Mixed methods studies combining CA with quantitative methods have been utilized since the 1980s to test associations between interaction practices and sociodemographic variables, attitudinal variables, outcomes, and even factors such as the economy. However, any sort of formal coding risks a massive reduction and flattening of complex human behavior to simplistic codes……

Plus commentaries from Jakob Steensig and Trine Heinemann, and Aug Nishizaka.


The other articles in the issue:

Beatrice Szczepek Reed
“Managing the Boundary Between “Yes” and “But”: Two Ways of Disaffiliating With German ja aber and jaber

This study shows how different phonetic productions of the same word pair perform different actions in conversation. The German words for “yes” and “but” share the same vowel at the word boundary: ja aber. Data from naturally occurring talk show that German speakers exploit this property of their language to differentiate between ja aber and jaber……

Gene H. Lerner & Celia Kitzinger
“Or-Prefacing in the Organization of Self-Initiated Repair”

This report identifies a distinct, and distinctly positioned, element of the repair segment—the repair preface—and focuses on or-prefacing to introduce the practice of repair prefacing and to develop an analysis of one preface type…..

Johanna Rendle-Short, Louise Skeltb & Nicolette Bramley
“Speaking to Twin Children: Evidence Against the “Impoverishment” Thesis”

It is often claimed that parents’ talk to twins is less rich than talk to singletons and that this delays their language development. This case study suggests that talk to twins need not be impoverished. We identify highly sophisticated ways in which a mother responds to her 4-year-old twin children, both individually and jointly, as a way of ensuring an inclusive interactional environment….

Anna Filipi
“The Development of Recipient Design in Bilingual Child-Parent Interaction”

This article explores the development of the language alternation practices of a bilingual child who is growing up with two languages: English, which she speaks with her father and older brother, and Italian, which she speaks with her mother. It reports on a microanalysis of the dyadic interactions between parent and child when the child was aged 18–24 months. ….