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The Handbook of Conversation Analysis by Tanya Stivers, Jack Sidnell

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 Conversation Analysis and Linguistics

BARBARA A. FOX

University of Colorado

SANDRA A. THOMPSON

University of California, Santa Barbara

CECILIA E. FORD

University of Wisconsin, Madison

ELIZABETH COUPER-KUHLEN

University of Helsinki

Brief History of CA and Linguistics

The interaction between CA and Linguistics began in the 1970s. Although Sacks originally had no special concern for language in his early explorations of social order (Heritage, 1984b), his growing interest in the organization of everyday talk eventually drew him to the details of language. What is arguably the most influential CA journal publication (“A simplest systematics” (Sacks, Schegloff & Jefferson, 1974)) appeared in the flagship journal of the Linguistic Society of America (Language), and thereby established a relationship between CA and Linguistics. The second major journal publication (“The preference for self-correction” (Schegloff, Jefferson & Sacks, 1977)) likewise appeared in Language. Although the field of Linguistics at that time was fairly thoroughly dominated by the generative paradigm, both articles came to have a substantial impact on Linguistics; in fact, the 1974 paper is the most cited paper ever to appear in Language (Joseph, 2003). The seed for a deeper, though not always harmonious, relationship between CA and Linguistics was thus planted in these early articles

The appearance of those articles in Language was not accidental. A close reading of Sacks, Schegloff and Jefferson (1974: 703, ...

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