Introduction to Conversation Analysis

Instructor(s): Jenny Mandelbaum

This course introduces methods and findings in the field of Conversation Analysis, a method for studying language in interaction, using as data field recordings of naturally occurring conversations (cf. Atkinson & Heritage, 1984; Heritage, 1984). Students will receive a systematic introduction to basic topics in Conversation Analysis with a particular focus on action sequence organization and action formation (Schegloff, 2007). Particular attention will also be paid to conversation analytic findings regarding turn-taking organization (how speakers build, take and allocate turns at talk) and repair organization (how problems in speaking, hearing and understanding are resolved). Students will gain hands-on experience of the rudiments of transcribing and analyzing naturally occurring conversation.

  • Atkinson, J. M & Heritage, J. (Eds.). 1984. Structures of social action: Studies in conversation analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Heritage, J. (1984). Garfinkel and ethnomethodology. Cambridge and New York: Polity Press.
  • Schegloff, E. A. (2007). Sequence organization in interaction: A primer in conversation analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Textbook (Available at CU Bookstore):
Title: Sequence Organization in Interaction: Volume 1: A Primer in Conversation Analysis
ISBN: 521532795
Author/Editor: Schegloff
Edition: 2007
Publisher: Cambridge University Press