In this volume leading academics in Interactional Linguistics and Conversation Analysis consider the notion of units for the study of language and interaction. Amongst the issues being explored are the role and relevance of traditionally accepted linguistic units for the analysis of naturally occurring talk, and the identification of new units of conduct in interaction. While some chapters make suggestions on how existing linguistic units can be adapted to suit the study of conversation, others present radically new perspectives on how language in interaction should be described, conceptualised and researched. The chapters present empirical investigations into different languages (Danish, English, Japanese, Mandarin, Swedish) in a variety of settings (private and institutional), considering both linguistic and embodied resources for talk. In addressing the fundamental question of units, the volume pushes at the boundaries of current debates and contributes original new insight into the nature of language in interaction.
1. The question of units for language, action and interaction (by Szczepek Reed, Beatrice); 2. Part I. Units of language revisited; 3. Units and/or Action Trajectories?: The language of grammatical categories and the language of social action (by Ford, Cecilia E.); 4. The dynamics of incrementation in utterance-building: Processes and resources (by Linell, Per); 5. From "intonation units" to cesuring - an alternative approach to the prosodic-phonetic structuring of talk-in-interaction (by Barth-Weingarten, Dagmar); 6. Perception of prosodic boundaries by untrained listeners (by Barnwell, Brendan); 7. Part II. Units of action and interaction; 8. At the intersection of turn and sequence organization: On the relevance of "slots" in type-conforming responses to polar interrogatives. (by Raymond, Geoffrey); 9. When 'yes' is not enough - as an answer to a yes/no question (by Steensig, Jakob); 10. Emerging units and emergent forms of participation within a unit in Japanese interaction: Local organization at a finer level of granularity (by Iwasaki, Shimako); 11. Phonetic resources in the construction of social actions (by Ogden, Richard); 12. Building an instructional project: Actions as components of music masterclasses (by Reed, Darren); 13. Language and the body in the construction of units in Mandarin face-to-face interaction (by Li, Xiaoting); 14. Index