chapter 4 Sharing a personal discovery of a taste
Focusing on the participants’ uses of distal demonstratives, this chapter investigates how a teller’s personal discovery and assessment of a new taste (<i>kakuni</i> ‘stewed pork belly’) 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’s uses of the word <i>kakuni</i> and the distal demonstrative (<i>are</i> ‘that thing’) work as a “prospective indexical” (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’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’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.