Investigation and Typification of Emergent Participation Framework in Conversation

Project Leader
ENDO Tomoko (The University of Tokyo)
Project Period
October 2016 - September 2019


Background and Purpose

The purpose of this research is to clarify how participation frameworks arise and change (emerge) in each phase of conversation, through a multi-modal analysis of diverse interactions in conversation. It also aims to systematize and typologize the patterns that can be discerned in these interactions. It will thereby reveal the parameters that are being attended to in the process of understanding the various conversational data.

In the construction of corpora of conversations and in research on conversation up until the present, there has been a tendency to conceive of the participants as simply “speakers” and “hearers.” On the other hand, researchers such as Goffman and Clark had more detailed categories for “speakers” and “hearers.” But they put focus on the construction of a theoretical model, and did not capture the diversity of participation frameworks in actual speech situations. In contrast, this research analyzes diverse types of activity as its data, and builds a model in a bottom-up approach, thereby 1) presenting a model of participation frameworks out of diversity, 2) establishing the basis for a typology of participation frameworks, 3) revealing the processes by which participation frameworks are constructed dynamically. These points represent new developments in research.

Objectives and Methods

By considering data from situations characterized by an extremely marked participation framework, this research, makes the factors influencing the methods of participation easy to discern, and considers these in contrast to data from everyday conversation. In concrete terms, the research examines the activities in a) everyday conversation, b) religious services, c) classroom situations, d) medical treatment, e) meetings and interviews, divides each activity into 1) an initial section, 2) a final section, and 3) a middle section, and conducts a multi-modal analysis of the characteristics involved in the emergence and negotiation of participation frameworks. Specifically, in addition to the content of speech, (changes in) the positioning of bodies, the use of props, gaze, nodding, pointing, gesturing, voice volume, voice tone, dress, etc. are taken into consideration. Other characteristics observed in the data will be made objects of research as they arise.

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