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Turn-Taking Strategy in Japanese CMC
Dalarna University, School of Languages and Media Studies, Japanese.
2009 (Undetermined)In: Studies in Language and Cultures, ISSN 1341-0032, Vol. 24, p. 47-64Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [un]

IRC (Inter Relay Chat) falls under the form of media called CMC (Computer-mediated communication); however, this form of media lacks such features as co-presence and simultaneity (Lark and Brennan, 1991). Therefore, CMC is said to be a limited form of media, compared to face-to-face communication (King, 1996). With regard to CMC, studies on turn-taking systems have been examined in the Western context. Hence, in this paper, I would like to argue that, to some extent, Japanese CMC has its own turn-taking system. One of the unique characteristics of the Japanese turn-taking system is the coconstruction of turns by more than two participants, in which one of the participants utters only the former part of the statement, anticipating that the latter part will be completed by the other participants (Mizutani, 1993). In Japanese, co-construction is possible partly because of the language's syntactic structures, in which syllables can easily be attached one after the other. This type of construction is called turn-projectability and the individual part of a sentence is called TCU (Turn Construction Unit; Szatrowski, 1993). Focusing on TCU, this paper studies how a turn is taken and examines how turn-taking in IRC is different from that in face-to face communication. On the basis of 3000 turns extracted from the IRC of “Yahoo Japan,” I first counted the frequency of turn-taking strategy by initiations, such as connectives, fillers, and responsive markers as discourse markers, and then compared it with the frequency of turn-taking strategy found in face-to-face communication. Consequently, it was clarified that the initiations in CMC are not as frequent as they are in face-to-face conversation. A further observation of the data showed that TCU tends to appear instead of initiation. Through a qualitative analysis of each TCU, it can be said that primer turn, which ends in the topical marker “wa,” draws a response from other participants in the cyber community and makes the community livelier. Furthermore, in the case of a narrative, a participant connects each turn by using the conjunctive suffix “-te,” in order to draw the other's response to the story, thus contributing to the vividness of communication in cyber space. In conclusion, TCU effectively compensates for the leanness of CMC, and the various TCU can be unique and powerful tools for turn-taking strategy in Japanese CMC.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Kyushu: Institute of Language and Cultures, Kyushu University , 2009. Vol. 24, p. 47-64
Keyword [un]
CMC, Computer-Mediated Communication, Turn Taking
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-5582OAI: oai:dalea.du.se:5582DiVA, id: diva2:520373
Available from: 2011-06-15 Created: 2011-06-15 Last updated: 2012-04-24Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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