Volume 16, Issue 2-3
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238


Despite interviewers having a wide range of strategies to elicit talk, English language interviewers overwhelmingly use syntactic questions. In contrast, most turns in Japanese semi-formal television interviews end in non-interrogative forms, and other methods are used to achieve smooth turn yielding. This study looks at the interviewers’ turns and examines how interviewees recognize turn-yielding. It argues that interviewers prefer using interviewing strategies other than canonical question forms to avoid any possible FTA (face threatening act).


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Athanasiadou, Angeliki
    (1991) The discourse function of questions. Pragmatics 1.1: 107–122.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Atkinson, J. Maxwell , and Paul Drew
    (1979) Order in the court: The organization of verbal interaction in judicial settings. London: Macmillan.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Bilmes, Jack
    (1999) Questions, answers, and the organization of talk in the 1992 vice presidential debate: Fundamental considerations. Research on Language and Social Interaction 32.3: 213–242. doi: 10.1207/S15327973RL320301
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/S15327973RL320301 [Google Scholar]
  4. Brown, Penelope , and Steven Levinson
    (1987) Politeness: Some universals in language usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Bull, Peter
    (1994) On identifying questions, replies, and non-replies in political interviews. Journal of Language and Social Psychology 13.2: 115–31. doi: 10.1177/0261927X94132002
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0261927X94132002 [Google Scholar]
  6. Button, Graham
    (1992) Answers as interactional products: Two sequential practices used in job interviews. In P. Drew and J. Heritage (eds.), Talk at work. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 212–231
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Clayman, Steven
    (1993) Reformulating the question: A device for answering/not answering questions in news interviews and press conferences. Text13: 159–188.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. (1988) Displaying neutrality in television news interviews. Social Problems335: 479–92.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Clayman, Steve
    (1992) Footing in the achievement of neutrality: The case of news interviews discourse. In P. Drew and J. Heritage (eds.), Talk at word: Interaction in institutional settings. pp. 163–98.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Clayman, Steven , and John Heritage
    (2002) The news interview: Journalists and public figures on the air. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511613623
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511613623 [Google Scholar]
  11. Coates, Jennifer
    (1996) Women talk. Oxford and Cambridge: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Cook, Haruko M
    (1990) The sentence-final particle ‘ne’ as a tool for cooperation in Japanese conversation. In Koji Hajime (ed.), Japanese and Korean Linguistics Vol 1. Stanford: Stanford Linguistics Center, pp. 29–45.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Coulthard, Malcolm
    (1985) An introduction to discourse analysis. Essex: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Drew, Paul
    (1992) Contested evidence in a courtroom cross-examination: The case of a trial for rape. In P. Drew and J. Heritage (eds.), Talk at work. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 470–520.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Drew, Paul , and John Heritage
    (1992) Analyzing talk at work. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Drummond, Kent , and Robert Hopper
    (1993) Back channels revisited: Acknowledgement tokens and speakership incipiency. Research on Language and Social Interaction26.2: 157–177. doi: 10.1207/s15327973rlsi2602_3
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s15327973rlsi2602_3 [Google Scholar]
  17. Ford, Cecilia , and Junko Mori
    (1994) Causal markers in Japanese and English conversations: A cross linguistic study of interactional grammar. Pragmatics4.1: 31–61.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Ford, Cecilia , and Sandra A. Thompson
    (1996) Interactional units in conversation: Syntactic, intonational and pragmatic resources for the management of turns. In E. Ochs , E. Schegloff and S. A. Thompson (eds.), Interaction and grammar. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 134–84. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511620874
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511620874 [Google Scholar]
  19. Fox, Barbara , Hayashi Makoto , and Robert Jasperson
    (1996) Resources and repair: A cross-linguistic study of syntax and repair. In E. Ochs , E. Schegloff and S.A. Thompson (eds.), Interaction and grammar. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 185–238. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511620874.004
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511620874.004 [Google Scholar]
  20. Furo, Hiroko
    (2001) Turn-taking in English and Japanese. Projectability in grammar, intonation and semantics. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Gnisi, Augusto , and Marino Bonaiuto
    (2003) Grilling politicians. Politicians’ answers to questions in television interviews and courtroom examinations. Journal of Language and Social Psychology22.4: 385–413. doi: 10.1177/0261927X03258088
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0261927X03258088 [Google Scholar]
  22. Gnisi, Augusto , and Clotilde Potencorvo
    (2004) The organization of questions and answers in the thematic phases of hostile examination: Turn-by-turn manipulation of meaning. Journal of Pragmatics36.5: 965–995. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2003.10.005
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2003.10.005 [Google Scholar]
  23. Greatbatch, David L
    (1986a) Aspects of topical organisation in news interviews: The use of agenda shifting procedures by interviewees. Media, Culture and Society8: 441–445. doi: 10.1177/0163443786008004005
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0163443786008004005 [Google Scholar]
  24. (1986b) Some standard uses of supplementary questions in news interview. In J. Wilson & B. Crow (eds.), Belfast Working Papers in Language and Linguistics Vol. 8. Jordanstown, Northern Ireland: University of Ulster, pp. 86–123.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. (1988) A turn-taking system for British news interviews. Language in Society17: 401–430. doi: 10.1017/S0047404500012963
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0047404500012963 [Google Scholar]
  26. (1992) On the management of disagreement between news interviewers. In P. Drew & J. Heritage (eds.), Talk at work. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 268–301.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Goody, Esther N
    (1978) Questions and politeness strategies in social interaction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Harre, Rom , and Grant Gillet
    (1994) The discursive mind. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Have, Paul ten
    (1999) Doing conversation analysis. A practical guide. London: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Hayashi, Makoto
    (1997) An exploration of sentence-final uses of the quotative particle in Japanese spoken discourse. In H. Sohn and J. Haig (eds.), Japanese and Korean Linguistics. Vol. 6. Stanford: CSLI, 565–581.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. (2003) Joint utterance construction in Japanese conversation. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. doi: 10.1075/sidag.12
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/sidag.12 [Google Scholar]
  32. Heritage John
    (1984) Garfinkel and ethnomethodology. Cambridge: Polity.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Heritage, John
    (1985) Analyzing news interviews: Aspects of the production of talk for an overhearing audience. In T.A. van Dijk (ed.), Handbook of discourse analysisVol. 3. New York: Academic, pp. 95–119.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Heritage John
    (1995) Conversation Analysis: Methodological aspects. In U. Quastoff (ed.), Aspects of oral communication. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, pp. 391– 418.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Heritage, John
    (2002) The limits of questioning: Negative interrogatives and hostile question content. Journal of Pragmatics34: 1427–1446. doi: 10.1016/S0378‑2166(02)00072‑3
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(02)00072-3 [Google Scholar]
  36. Heritage, John , and David L. Greatbatch
    (1991) On the institutional character of institutional talk: The case of news interviews. In D. Boden & D.H. Zimmerman (eds.), Talk and social structure. Berkeley: University of California Press, pp. 93–127.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Heritage, John , and Andrew L. Roth
    (1995) Grammar and institution: Questions and questioning in the broadcast news interview. Research on Language and Social Interaction28.1: 1–60. doi: 10.1207/s15327973rlsi2801_1
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s15327973rlsi2801_1 [Google Scholar]
  38. Hinds, John
    (1976) Aspects of Japanese discourse. Tokyo: Kaitakusha.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Honda, Atsuko
    (2002) Conflict management in Japanese public affairs talk shows. Journal of Pragmatics 34.5: 573–608. doi: 10.1016/S0378‑2166(01)00053‑4
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(01)00053-4 [Google Scholar]
  40. Hutchby, Ian
    (1996) Confrontation talk: Arguments, asymmetries, and power on talk radio. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Inoue, Kazuko
    (1978) Nihongo no bunpoo kisoku (The rules of Japanese grammar). Tokyo: Taishuukan.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Itakura, Hiroko
    (2001) Conversational dominance and gender: A study of Japanese speakers in first and second language contexts. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Conpany. doi: 10.1075/pbns.89
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/pbns.89 [Google Scholar]
  43. Jefferson, Gail
    (1973) A case of precision timing in ordinary conversation: Overlapped tag-positioned address terms in closing sequences. Semiotica 9.1: 47–96. doi: 10.1515/semi.1973.9.1.47
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/semi.1973.9.1.47 [Google Scholar]
  44. Jucker, Andreas
    (1986) News interviews: A pragmalinguistics analysis. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. doi: 10.1075/pb.vii.4
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pb.vii.4 [Google Scholar]
  45. Kabaya, Hiroshi
    (1993) Taigu hyoogen ni okeru shooryaku (Ellipsis in polite expressions). Nihongogaku 12.9: 27–33.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Kamio, Akio
    (1994) The theory of territory of information: The case of Japanese. Journal of Pragmatics. 21.1: 67–100. doi: 10.1016/0378‑2166(94)90047‑7
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0378-2166(94)90047-7 [Google Scholar]
  47. Kindaichi, Haruhiko
    (1990) Nihongo(Japanese) Vol. 1 and 2. Tokyo: Iwanami shinsho.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Labov, William , and David Fanshel
    (1977) Therapeutic discourse. New York: Academic Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Lebra, Takie Sugiyama
    (1976) Japanese patterns of behaviour. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Macaulay, Marcia
    (1996) Asking to ask: The strategic function of indirect requests for information in news interviews. Pragmatics 6.4: 491–509.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Makino, Seichi , and Michio Tsutsui
    (1992) A dictionary of basic Japanese grammar. 11th edition. Tokyo: The Japan Times.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Martin, Samuel
    (1975) A reference grammar of Japanese. London: Yale University.
    [Google Scholar]
  53. Masuoka, Takashi
    (1991) Modaritii no bunpoo(The grammar of modality). Tokyo: Kuroshio.
    [Google Scholar]
  54. Masuoka, Takashi , Yoshio Nitta , Takao Gunji , and Satoshi Kinsui
    (1997) Bunpoo (Grammar). Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten.
    [Google Scholar]
  55. McGloin, Naomi H
    (1998)  Hai and ee: An interactional analysis. In N. Akatsuka , H. Hoji , S. Iwasaki , S. Sohn and S. Strauss (eds.), Japanese and Korean Linguistics. Vol. 7. Stanford: CSLI, 105–120.
    [Google Scholar]
  56. Maynard, Douglas
    (1992) On clinicians co-implicating recipients’ perspective in the delivery of diagnostic news. In P. Drew and J. Heritage (eds.), Talk at work. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 331–358.
    [Google Scholar]
  57. Maynard, Senko
    (1995) Interrogatives that seek no answers: Exploring the expressiveness of rhetorical interrogatives in Japanese. Linguistics 33.3 (337): 501–530. doi: 10.1515/ling.1995.33.3.501
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/ling.1995.33.3.501 [Google Scholar]
  58. (1989) Self-contextualization through structure and interactional management. Norwood, N.J.: Ablex Publishing Company.
    [Google Scholar]
  59. Mizutani, Osamu
    (1981) Japanese: The spoken language in Japanese life. Tokyo: Japan Times.
    [Google Scholar]
  60. Mizutani, Osamu , and Nobuko Mizutani
    (1987) How to be polite in Japanese. Tokyo: Japan Times.
    [Google Scholar]
  61. Murata, Kumiko
    (1994) Intrusive or co-operative? A cross-cultural study of interruption. Journal of Pragmatics21: 385–400. doi: 10.1016/0378‑2166(94)90011‑6
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0378-2166(94)90011-6 [Google Scholar]
  62. Mori, Junko
    (1999) Negotiating agreement and disagreement in Japanese. Connective expressions and turn construction. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. doi: 10.1075/sidag.8
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/sidag.8 [Google Scholar]
  63. Nakada, Seichi
    (1980) Aspects of interrogative structure: A case study from English and Japanese. Tokyo: Kaitakusha.
    [Google Scholar]
  64. Nakajima, Etsuko
    (1997) Gimon hyoogen no yoosoo (An aspect of interrogative expressions). In Gendai nihongo kenkyuukai (Modern Japanese research group) . Josei no kotoba. Shokubahen. (Women and Language. At the workplace). Tokyo: Hitsuji Shobo, pp. 59–82.
    [Google Scholar]
  65. Nitta, Yoshio
    (1995) Nihongo no Modaritii to ninshoo (Japanese modality and personal pronouns). Tokyo: Hitsuji Shobo.
    [Google Scholar]
  66. Nylund, Matts
    (2003) Asking questions, making sound-bites: Research reports, interviews and television news stories. Discourse Studies Vol. 5.4: 517–533. doi: 10.1177/14614456030054004
    https://doi.org/10.1177/14614456030054004 [Google Scholar]
  67. Ono Tsuyoshi , and Yoshida Eri
    (1996) A Study of co-construction in Japanese: We don’t finish each others’ sentences. In N. Akatsuka , S. Iwasaki and S. Strauss (eds.), Japanese/Korean LinguisticsVol 5. Stanford: CSLI, pp. 115–129.
    [Google Scholar]
  68. Oishi, H
    (1971) Hanashi kotobaron (Spoken Language). Tokyo: Shueisha.
    [Google Scholar]
  69. Okamoto, Shigeko
    (1985) Ellipsis in Japanese discourse. Unpublished PhD dissertation. University of California.
    [Google Scholar]
  70. Oshima, Hiroko
    (2001) Les particules finales japonaises: Etude de ka . Faits des Langues17: 273–284.
    [Google Scholar]
  71. Park, Yong-Yae
    (1998) A discourse analysis of contrastive connectives in English, Korean, and Japanese conversation: With special reference to the context of dispreferred responses. In J. Andreas and Y. Ziv (eds.), Discourse markers: Descriptions and theory. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 277-300. doi: 10.1075/pbns.57.14par
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.57.14par [Google Scholar]
  72. Pomerantz, Anita
    (1980) Telling my side: “limited access” as a “fishing” device. Sociological Inquiry50: 186–198. doi: 10.1111/j.1475‑682X.1980.tb00020.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-682X.1980.tb00020.x [Google Scholar]
  73. Roth, Andrew , and David Olsher
    (1997) Some standard uses of “what about”-prefaced questions in the broadcast news interview. Issues in Applied Linguistics9.1: 3–25.
    [Google Scholar]
  74. Sacks, Harvey , Emanuel Schegloff , and Gail Jefferson
    (1974) A simplest systematics for the organization of turn-taking for conversation. Language50.4: 696–735. doi: 10.2307/412243
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/412243 [Google Scholar]
  75. Schegloff, Emanuel
    (1984) On questions and ambiguities in conversation. In J.M. Atkinson and J.Heritage (eds.), Structures on social action. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 28–53.
    [Google Scholar]
  76. (1993) Reflections on quantification in the study of conversation. Research on Language and Social Interaction 26.1: 99–128. doi: 10.1207/s15327973rlsi2601_5
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s15327973rlsi2601_5 [Google Scholar]
  77. (2000) Overlapping talk and the organization of turn-taking for conversation. Language in Society29, 1, Mar: 1–66. doi: 10.1017/S0047404500001019
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0047404500001019 [Google Scholar]
  78. Schiffrin, Deborah
    (1987) Discourse markers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511611841
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511611841 [Google Scholar]
  79. Shibamoto, Janet
    (1985) Japanese Women’s Language. Florida, Orlando: Academic Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  80. Shinzato, Rumiko
    (2002) Cognition, epistemic scale, and functions of the old Japanese question particle ka . Linguistics 40.30: 553–578. doi: 10.1515/ling.2002.023
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/ling.2002.023 [Google Scholar]
  81. Takagi, Tomoyo
    (1999) “Questions” in argumentative sequences in Japanese. Human Studies32: 397–423. doi: 10.1023/A:1005419406587
    https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1005419406587 [Google Scholar]
  82. Tanaka, Hiroko
    (1999) Turn taking in Japanese conversation. A study on grammar and interaction. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. doi: 10.1177/14614456020040010603
    https://doi.org/10.1177/14614456020040010603 [Google Scholar]
  83. (2000) The particle ne as a turn-management device in Japanese conversation. Journal of Pragmatics32: 1135–1176. doi: 10.1016/S0378‑2166(99)00087‑9
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(99)00087-9 [Google Scholar]
  84. (2001) Adverbials for turn-projection in Japanese: Towards as demystification of the telepathic mode of communication. Language in Society30: 559–587. doi: 10.1017/S004740450100402X
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S004740450100402X [Google Scholar]
  85. Tanaka, Lidia
    (2004) Gender, language and culture: A study of Japanese television interview discourse. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. doi: 10.1075/slcs.69
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/slcs.69 [Google Scholar]
  86. Tanaka, Noriko
    (2001) The pragmatics of uncertainty: Its realisation and interpretation in English and Japanese. Tokyo: Shumpuusha.
    [Google Scholar]
  87. Teramura, Hideo
    (1982) Nihongo no shintakkusu to imi I. (Meaning and syntax in Japanese). Tokyo: Kuroshio.
    [Google Scholar]
  88. Tsuchihashi, Mika
    (1983) The speech act continuum: An investigation of Japanese sentence final particles. Journal of Pragmatics7: 361–387. doi: 10.1016/0378‑2166(83)90024‑3
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0378-2166(83)90024-3 [Google Scholar]
  89. White, Sheila
    (1989) Backchannels across cultures: A study of Americans and Japanese. Language in Society18: 59–76. doi: 10.1017/S0047404500013270
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404500013270 [Google Scholar]
  90. West, Candance
    (1984) Routine complications: Trouble with talk between doctors and patients. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  91. West, Candance , and Don Zimmerman
    (1983) Small insults; a study of interruptions in cross-sex conversations between unacquainted persons. In B. Thorne , C. Kramarae and N. Henley (eds.), Language, gender and society. Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House, pp. 102–117.
    [Google Scholar]
  92. Wilson, Thomas
    (1991) Social structure and the sequential organization of interaction. In D. Boden and D. Zimmerman (eds.), Talk and social structure. Cambridge: Polity Press, pp. 22–43.
    [Google Scholar]
  93. Yamada, Tomiaki
    (1995) Kaiwa bunseki no hoohoo (Conversation analysis methodology). In T. Inoue , C. Ueno , M. Oosawa , S. Mita and S. Yoshimi (eds.), Tasha, kankei, komyuunikeeshoon (The others, relations, communication). Tokyo: Iwanami, pp. 121–136.
    [Google Scholar]
  94. Yokota, Mariko
    (1994) The role of questioning in Japanese political discourse. Issues in Applied LinguisticsVol. 5.2: 353–382.
    [Google Scholar]
  95. Zimmerman, Don and Deidre Boden
    (1991) Talk and social structure. Cambridge: Polity Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  96. Zimmerman, Don , and Candance West
    (1975) Sex roles, interruptions and silences in conversation. In Barry Thorne and Nancy Henley (eds.), Language and sex: Difference and dominance. Rowley, Mass: Newbury House, pp. 105–29.
    [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Conversation analysis; Japanese; Question; Television interviews; Turn-taking
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error