chapter 4 Sharing a personal discovery of a taste

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Focusing on the participants&#8217; uses of distal demonstratives, this chapter investigates how a teller&#8217;s personal discovery and assessment of a new taste (<i>kakuni</i> &#8216;stewed pork belly&#8217;) are shared with a recipient through the process of a storytelling. In data from an audio/video taped naturally occurring conversation among three Japanese women, I demonstrate how the teller&#8217;s uses of the word <i>kakuni</i> and the distal demonstrative (<i>are</i> &#8216;that thing&#8217;) work as a &#8220;prospective indexical&#8221; (C. Goodwin, 1996) in a recognition search, and create a context for the participants to share their knowledge about <i>kakuni</i>. Building on previous research on Japanese demonstratives by grammarians and researchers of conversation, I demonstrate how two uses of distal demonstratives (i.e., to refer to an entity which is solely in the speaker&#8217;s mind, or to refer to an entity which is shared or co-experienced by the speaker and the listener) can converge in the process of storytelling, and how this convergence enables the recipient to display her agreement with the teller&#8217;s assessment of a new taste while showing her individuality as someone who has her own experiences of <i>kakuni</i>. This study also indicates the importance of analyzing both verbal and nonverbal behavior (e.g., gaze direction) for understanding the use of grammatical forms in interaction.


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