chapter 6 Storytelling in a Japanese television talk show
The present study investigates the host’s responsive behavior (continuers, repetition, and stance displays) in a Japanese talk show segment and demonstrates how the host contributes to the construction of the guest’s story. The analysis shows that the host uses continuers to keep the guest talking, and repetition in clarification requests to help make the guest’s talk more comprehensible to the audience. While the host does the above to maintain an objective stance as facilitator of the show, other devices/body behavior allow her to go beyond this stance. By using the disalignment markers E- ‘What?’ and A ‘Oh’ before repeating a part or all of the guest’s preceding utterance, and accompanying her repetition with laughter and posture changes, the host indicates that a positive image of the guest should be promoted. In addition, the host uses lengthened vocalizations (e.g., <i>Ha</i>:::::::: ‘O::::::::h’) to express a stance of strong appreciation and agreement at the end of the guest’s story, which also supports the guest in a positive way. In sum, by using various strategies, the host in the talk show does much more than just remain a passive listener, and indeed plays an active role in helping to shape the guest’s story.