Analysing Casual Conversation, first published in 1997 by Cassell, develops a systematic model for the analysis and description of casual conversation in English. Working through authentic examples of casual conversations involving participants differing in age, gender, ethnicity and socio-economic class, the authors argue that despite its sometimes aimless appearance and apparently unstructured content, casual conversation is a highly structured activity and plays a critical role in the social construction of reality. Drawing on insights from sociology, linguistics and critical semiotics, the book equips readers with the analytic skills to describe the layers of structure and critical interpretive frameworks to explain the 'social work' that goes on through chat.
Suzanne Eggins is Senior Lecturer in the School of English, University of New South Wales, Sydney Diana Slade is Professor of Applied Linguistics in the Faculty of Education at the University of Technology, Sydney.
Introduction: Collecting and transcribing casual conversation; 1. Making meanings in everyday talk; 2. Relevant approaches to analysing casual conversation; 3. The grammar of casual conversation: enacting role relations; 4. The semantics of casual conversation: encoding attitude and humour in casual conversation; 5. The discourse structure of casual conversation: negotiating support and confrontation; 6. Genre in casual conversation: telling stories; 7. Gossip: establishing and maintaining group membership; 8. Conclusion