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Sequential organization of hinting in online task-oriented L2 interaction

Ufuk Balaman
From the journal Text & Talk


This study aims to explore the sequential organization of hinting in an online task-oriented L2 interactional setting. Although hinting has been studied within conversation analysis literature, it has not yet been treated as a distinct type of social action. With this in mind, the study sets out to describe the sequential environment of hinting through the unfolding of the action with pre-hinting sequences initiated through the deployment of interrogatives, knowledge checks, and past references; maintained with base hinting sequences initiated through blah blah replacements, designedly incomplete utterances, and metalinguistic clues; and finally progressively resolved with screen-based hinting. Based on the examination of screen-recorded video-mediated interactions (14 hours) of geographically dispersed participants using multimodal conversation analysis, this study provides insights for an overall understanding of the interactional trajectory of hinting as a context-specific social action and contributes to research on L2 interaction in online settings.


This study was partly presented in Interactional Competences and Practices in L2 (ICOP-L2) Conference at University of Neuchatel and was supported by la Commission de recherché du FNS a l’Universite de Neuchatel (subside de Fonds des donations). I would like to thank Olcay Sert and Safinaz Büyükgüzel for their valuable comments on an earlier version of this article.

Appendix: Transcription Conventions

1#Onset point of the screen-based activity surrounding the talk that is marked along with the lines of the transcript
#1Offset point of the screen-based activity surrounding the talk that is marked along with the lines of the transcript
1# …Continuation of the screen-based activity (used only within the screen-based activity illustrations)
IllustrationsCurrent screen of the participants who perform the screen-based activities
CirclesPoints on the screen where the participants either click or hold the cursor still
ArrowDirection of the cursor movements within the screen-based activity illustrations
Lines 2–5Duration of screen-based activity represented across lines in order to indicate the scope of each description
DescriptionsUnanalytical descriptions of the illustrated screen-based activities

These notations only include the additions toJefferson (2004)transcription conventions.


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Published Online: 2019-05-25
Published in Print: 2019-07-26

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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