Computers and Conversation by Frohlich, David; Gilbert, Nigel G.; Luff, Paul

By Frohlich, David; Gilbert, Nigel G.; Luff, Paul

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See also Walker (1989) for studies, in a similar vein, in computer science. Towards a Sociology of Human-Computer Interaction Furthermore, the application of Conversation Analysis is not without its own problems. The majority of the conversational structures 6 to be engineered into the interface are those derived from mundane conversation. Of course, many other conversation systems exist and several have been subjected to Conversation Analysis (Atkinson and Drew 1979, Dingwall 1980 and Robinson 1987 are examples).

Thomas Analysis formulates these understandings in such a way that we can view the systematic regularities which are observable in interaction as the result of commonly-held skills and methods for, and expectancies about, interaction. This account of Conversation Analysis may not, of course, be found palatable by some of its practitioners. Although this point will be taken up again below, the attraction that Conversation Analysis holds for us, and our particular interest in its findings about interaction, is not engendered by its rule-like descriptions of interaction, but by its specification of normative formats which operate at the level of expectations about the relationships between actions in interaction.

This does not inform us about the socially organised basis of listing. However, when a speaker stops after two items it can be observed that co-particpants actually volunteer a possible third item. Also, when speakers continue to a fourth or fifth item co-participants are likely to interrupt, usually as soon as it is apparent that the third part is not going to be the last item. Thus the study of two or four part lists can provide insights to the commonly held expectations which inform the construction of three part lists in conversation.

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