Volume 33, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238
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This study examines collaborative utterance overlaps in American English and Japanese interactions between the same participants in two genres, conversation and problem-solving tasks, from the perspective of metacommunication. Quantitative and qualitative analyses indicated that participants’ use of overlap varies in frequency and function by genre. In conversation tasks, speakers of both languages used overlaps to maintain coherence and keep the story on track. In problem-solving tasks, American English overlaps conveyed agreement with or acceptance of the proposed idea, whereas Japanese overlaps in this genre conveyed common understanding. Participants attended to situational adjustment, and the development of collaboration in interactions differed by context and genre depending on the purpose of the conversation and the amount of information shared by participants. These results suggest the importance of teaching students how to use overlaps in both American English and Japanese interactions to enhance their understanding and appreciation of the cultural nuances of collaboration.


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