Conversation analysis (CA)
Conversation analysis (CA). In J. Stanlaw (Ed.
), The International Encyclopedia of Linguistic Anthropology
. Wiley-Blackwell. doi:10.1002/9781118786093.iela0080.
Conversation analysis (CA) is an approach to the study of language and social interaction that puts at center stage its sequential development. The chain of initiating and responding actions that characterizes any interaction is a source of internal evidence for the meaning of social behavior as it exposes the understandings that participants themselves give of what one another is doing. Such an analysis requires the close and repeated inspection of audio and video recordings of naturally occurring interaction, supported by transcripts and other forms of annotation. Distributional regularities are complemented by a demonstration of participants' orientation to deviant behavior. CA has long maintained a constructive dialogue and reciprocal influence with linguistic anthropology. This includes a recent convergence on the cross-linguistic and cross-cultural study of social interaction.