Turn-Taking in Japanese Conversation
A Study in Grammar and Interaction
This book explores the interpretation of grammar and turn-taking in Japanese talk-in-interaction from the perspective of conversation analysis. It pays special attention to the projectability patterns of turns in Japanese in comparison to English. Through qualitative and quantitative methods, it is shown that the postpositional grammatical structure and the predicate-final orientation in Japanese regularly result in a relatively delayed projectability of the possible point at which a current turn may become recognisably complete in comparison to English. Prior to such points, projectability is often limited to the progressive anticipation of small increments of talk. However, participants are able to achieve smooth speaker transitions with minimal gap or overlap through the use of specific grammatical and prosodic devices for marking possible points at which a transition may become relevant.