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An Exercise on Conversation Analysis Theory

This only an exercise but as Wagner (2013) has stated and beyond all transcription conventions, all processes related will be subject to problems like the existent writing systems such as the Chinese language, as an example. The multilingual data when there is a pronunciation variance and accent. The presentation of only excerpts of transcriptions ignoring interlinear and idiomatic translations usually found as written resources. And finally, use of appropriate register on multimodal issues such as gaze, gesture, posture and even space.

Below is the translation of the conversation sequence taken from the TV Show Greek Season 2 Episode 5.

Cassy: Are you not having fun?
Max: No! I was going to say. I… I haven't been on a date since Sarah died and I didn't realize I’d be this weird. I am sorry.
C: It’s fine Max. Do you want to talk about it?
M: I don’t know. I think a first date conversation about my dead girlfriend might be a little heavy.
C: Heavy? I love heavy.
M: Ok. Ahh... Well, she grew up in Illinois...
C: Just like me. What was her major?
M: Philosophy.
C: That’s so interesting!
M: That’s not like she wanted to be a philosopher. She wished she wanted to help people. She thought, by studying how various cultures are fundamentally different in the way few live, then she’ll be able to interact more efficiently with them. She wanted to join the Peace Corps, and just travel the world doing whatever she could to make it a better place. She was a kind of a Buddhist that way.
C: Sure. That’s great! Yeah...
M: I feel pretty good!
C: See? Not too heavy at all. Right?
M: If Sarah were here right now, she’ll say: Ok you dork, stop talking about me, Sir. Talking to your date! So, tell me Cassy, what’s on your mind?
C: Well, actually, this girl Fanny, she stole my parking spot at the house. She and I had this whole ... You know what …. never mind. It's so not important.
Do you have drinks or something? Are you thirsty? Because I'm dying.
I am dying of thirst. [so nervous]
M: Ok. I’ll get us a couple of beers.

If you are interested in continuing the research of transcription with conversation analysis (CA) these resources may help you.

Jenks, C. J. (2011). Transcribing and Interaction: Issues in the representation of communication data. Amsterdam, NLD: John Benjamins Publishing Co. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com

Joseph, B. D. (2003). The Editor’s Department: Reviewing our contents. Language, 79(3), 461–463. https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.2003.0167

Sidnel, J. (2016). Conversation Analysis. Linguistics, Oxford Research Encyclopedia, pp. 1-19. https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780199384655.013.40

Wagner, J. (2013). Conversation Analysis and Transcription Data. In C. A Chapel (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics (pp.1-8). Blackwell Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781405198431.wbeal0215

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