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Gossip Talk and Participation during L2 On-line Chat

  • The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea
  • Abbr : 사회언어학
  • 2009, 17(1), pp.237-262
  • Publisher : The Sociolinguistic Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > Linguistics

김정연 1

1울산과학기술대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study aims to examine the interplay between on-line talk irrelevant to a task, i.e., gossip talk, and participant alignment during task processing. Specifically, this study examines qualitatively how the gossip talk contributes to L2 interactants' configuration of participant alignment during on-line problem-solving activities. The data consist of the scripts of more than sixty hours of L2 on-line chatting of college level English learners. The qualitative, empirical analysis has shown that the participants' knowledge of extra-task world is disclosed during the gossip talk either between problems to solve or at the beginning of the chat. The task-embedded gossip occurring between problems to solve has generated fewer turns than the chat-opening gossip. The task-embedded gossip was also limited in its effects on reconfiguration of participatory structure and functioned only to reconfirm the predefined participant framework. Chat-opening gossip, by contrast, made significant contributions to emergent participant alignment, which was reflected during the task processing in the subsequent turns. The findings indicate that the unfocused action, i.e., the gossip talk, contributes to the focused action, i.e, task processing, in terms of construction of participant alignment.

Citation status

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