Conversation analysis and speech act performance

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Conversation analysis offers the potential for useful contribution to the study of speech act performance by microanalysing the sequential organisation of natural data of participants carrying out social action through talk. This paper outlines some of the similarities and main differences between speech act theory and conversation analysis, focusing mainly on the concept of speakers’ intent, the importance of the sequential organisation of data, and the value of naturally occurring data. The chapter presents previous research which has studied speech act sequences form a conversation analysis perspective in a variety of settings and contexts, including the second/foreign language classroom. Finally, the chapter proposes lines of investigation of speech act performance that could benefit from a conversation analysis approach.


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