Approaches to studying language and social interaction: Analyzing longitudinal conversational data in Japanese

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Date(s) - 25/09/2013
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Japanese Studies Centre Auditorium, Building 54 (next to the bus loop), Monash University, Clayton Campus


Dr. Shimako Iwasaki and Dr. Ikuko Nakane (Monash University, University of Melbourne)

Weds 25 September 2013

12 noon – 1 pm

Using interview data collected over 24 years by Dr. Kaori Okano (Latrobe University), this presentation considers several approaches to analyzing language and social interaction in Japanese. The data set provides a unique opportunity to examine how language and interaction change over time in conjunction with life transitions from young adulthood to motherhood and with transforming urban and social landscapes. The presentation combines explication of findings from analyses by our multidisciplinary team and reflection on how we can analyze longitudinal changes in spoken language through different approaches including discourse-functional linguistics, sociolinguistics, conversation analysis (CA) and CA-influenced interactional linguistics. The presentation introduces and demonstrates several analytic methods while considering their implications for understanding Japanese discourse.


Dr. Shimako Iwasaki (Ph.D., University of California-Los Angeles) is a lecturer in the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University. Her research areas include Conversation Analysis (CA), multimodal analyses of interaction and studies of language and social interaction in multi-cultural contexts. Her research deals with the organization of grammatical and multimodal practices in interaction focusing on Japanese and signed conversations. Her recent publications include: ‘The multimodal mechanics of collaborative unit construction in Japanese conversation’ in Embodied Interaction: Language and Body in the Material World, Streeck, Goodwin and LeBaron (eds.) (2011) and ‘Emerging units and emergent forms of participation within a unit in Japanese interaction: Local organization at a finer level of granularity’ in Units of Talk – Units of Action, Szczepek Reed and Raymond (eds.) (In press).

Dr Ikuko Nakane is Senior Lecturer at the Asia Institute, University of Melbourne. She is a sociolinguist and her research areas are discourse analysis and intercultural pragmatics, including lay-professional communication in legal contexts. Ikuko’s approach to discourse analysis ranges from conversation analysis (CA), politeness theory, and interactionist sociolinguistics. Her publications include Silence in Intercultural Communication (John Benjamins, 2007); Problems in communicating the suspect’s rights in interpreted police interviews, Applied Linguistics (2007); and Language rights in Japanese criminal courts: Bridging the gap between legal professionals and language professionals, Asian Studies Review (2013).

All welcome! Please RSVP by 22/9 as we will be providing refreshments after the seminar