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Title: "Getting to know you" conversations
Author: Yang, Bo
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2013
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This dissertation is about “getting to know you” conversation, a form of conversation prevalent in everyday interactions. It has been defined (Garner 2004: 181) as an interaction in which participants, usually of equal social status, make initial contact and establish friendly relations, and in which they are largely concerned with finding neutral topics through which they can establish common ground—shared experiences, opinions, interests, and the like. This doctoral research was based on extensive recordings and transcription of such conversations in English between university students (both native with native and native with non-native speakers), in a relatively naturalistic setting. The analysis was conducted in two steps. The first step was to identify and describe the recurrent patterns of the data, through well-established methods of Conversation Analysis. The second was to classify identified structures within a pragmatic framework: in other words, to label utterances and sequences according to their functional properties, and to specify their roles in building relationships between the interactants. Three major sequences were identified and discussed in detail in terms of their forms, functions and distributions in a “getting to know you” conversation. Differences in usage and pragmatic effectiveness between native and non-native speakers were also identified. The research makes a new contribution to the relatively small but growing body of work in the field of conversational pragmatics. The findings of this PhD work can, and it is hoped will be, made available for EFL classroom use in China. Drawing on the present study, a potential model is proposed for an instructional unit on sequences in GTKY conversations. The suggested approach would result in a change to the typical roles of teacher and textbooks currently occurring in Chinese education, which is outlined at the end of this dissertation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Aberdeen ; China Scholarship Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Conversation analysis