Language is a wonderful thing. It is essentially what separates human beings from the world’s plethora of cohabiting species. We, as humans, have the ability to communicate with one another using any of the world’s languages; assuming that your communicator is a speaker of the same language.
Conversation then is massively important to us as human beings. We can convey our thoughts and desires to others, influence and entertain through speech. Without it, we certainly wouldn’t be the evolved species we are today, and you probably wouldn’t be reading this right now!
As linguistics has evolved and become an entirely independent social science, so too has our interest into just how humans interact and what the implications of the types of conversation we use are.
Conversation Analysis arose as a discipline that helps us to delve deeper into the intricacies of conversation. It looks at the structural organisation of spoken interaction, how people manage such basic – but complex – tasks as taking turns, resolving problems like when one person talks at the same time as another, or misunderstands, and how they perform social actions e.g. offering, requesting, telling stories etc.