Conversation Analysis and pragmatic development

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In this study the methods and findings of Conversation Analysis are applied to the examination of three interactions between young children aged 12 to 14 months in the context of a parent working to establish joint attention, working to get beyond joint attention and affirming a child action. The close attention to the micro details of the talk and what a child does in the next turn allow for a rich analysis and understanding about the pragmatic skills needed to initiate, respond and keep a conversation going. The study argues that such close attention to the minutiae of talk is necessary if we are to understand how the child works to engage successfully in co-creating and managing interaction, and in the process, what she learns about both language and interaction as she accumulates experience.


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