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Conversation analysis of e-mail requests by second language speakers

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Title: Conversation analysis of e-mail requests by second language speakers
Authors: Iimuro, Aki
Advisor: Brown, James D.
Issue Date: 2006
Abstract: The current study investigates the design of requests in e-mail messages by Japanese second language (L2) speakers of English. This study draws mainly on studies by Taleghani-Nikazm (2006) on request sequence organization, and Golato and Taleghani-Nikazm (2006) on request sequence organization in Internet chats. I use the conversation analysis method (Sacks, Schegloff, & Jefferson, 1974) to analyze the sequential organization of “accounts” (Antaki, 1994; Heritage, 1988) for requests in e-mail messages within the institutional context of university settings. The findings demonstrate that the participants display their orientation towards “preference organization” (Heritage, 1984; Pomerantz, 1984), delaying the dispreferred requests by using accounts, “written pauses” (Golato & Taleghani- Nikazm, 2006), and boundary markers. Furthermore, the participants use “accounts” for requests as (a) pre-requests, (b) accusation avoidance, and (c) to pursue a preferred response of granting the request. Through this study, I contribute to our understanding of the sequential organization of account for requests in interaction, as well as how participants recruit the “affordances” (Gibson, 1977) of the communication medium of e-mail interaction. Above all, this study contributes to the field of interlanguage pragmatic studies on the speech act of requesting by L2 speakers and suggests an alternative methodological approach to speech act research.
Pages/Duration: 49 pages
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/40681
Appears in Collections:SLS Papers



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