On NS/NNS identity and 'warrantability': The interactional co-authorship of an occasioned medium by a first and second language speaker of Japanese

Bushnell, Cade
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In this study, I use conversation analysis (CA) and ethnomethodological sequential-categorization analysis to examine data that might typically considered by previous research as sites within which participants demonstrably orient to categories such as 'native speaker' (NS) and 'non-native speaker' (NNS). In recent years, there has been a considerable increase in research from a CA perspective examining interactions between first and second language speakers of a common language which has emphasized the dangers of assuming the relevance of categories such as NS and NNS. Instead, these recent studies have sought to apply categorization only when it is warranted by the participants‘ own orientations, made publicly observable in their interactions. Adopting a conceptual framework which draws upon Hester and Francis (2000), however, the present study further questions the applicability of categories like NS/NNS — even in instances when the participants are prima facie 'demonstrably oriented' to such distinctions. I argue instead that, in the data I examine, the 'visibility' of these categories is based upon an a priori knowledge that the participants are 'native' or 'nonnative', and thus draws upon tacit members‘ knowledge as an analytical resource. I further argue that such an analytical approach threatens to obscure the actual interactional work and orientations of the participants in their talk. In the present study, it is shown that the participants in my data actually displayed a primary and pervasive orientation to negotiating and interactionally co-authoring a 'medium' (Gafaranga 1999, 2000, 2001; Gafaranga & Calvo, 2001; Gafaranga & Torras, 2002) for their interaction.
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