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Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication

Ed. by Piller, Ingrid

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.800
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.109

CiteScore 2018: 0.95

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.881
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.152

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Volume 32, Issue 3


Topic continuity in informal conversations between native and non-native speakers of English

Muna Morris-Adams
Published Online: 2013-04-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/multi-2013-0015


Topic management by non-native speakers (NNSs) during informal conversations has received comparatively little attention from researchers, and receives surprisingly little attention in second language learning and teaching. This article reports on one of the topic management strategies employed by international students during informal, social interactions with native-speaker peers, exploring the process of maintaining topic continuity following temporary suspensions of topics. The concept of side sequences is employed to illustrate the nature of different types of topic suspension, as well as the process of jointly negotiating a return to the topic. Extracts from the conversations show that such sequences were not exclusively occasioned by language difficulties, and that the non-native speaker participants were able to effect successful returns to the main topic of the conversations.

Keywords: informal conversations; topic management; side sequences; NS–NNS interactions

About the article

Published Online: 2013-04-12

Published in Print: 2013-04-11

Citation Information: Multilingua, Volume 32, Issue 3, Pages 321–342, ISSN (Online) 1613-3684, ISSN (Print) 0167-8507, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/multi-2013-0015.

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