Conversation Analysis Essay Example

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This is an analysis of a conversation among four Australians meeting prior to each show and letting the senior staff know what s happening that night. They are 52 year old Max, who is male; 24 year old Rita, who is female; 27 year old Leo, male; and 33 year old Abby, female. The place of recording is Brisbane. A conversation involves interaction two or more people where each one of them take turns to speak. In the analysis I have pointed out interlocutors, pauses, perlocutionary act, directive illocutionary act, indirect speech act, illocutionary act in the form of a question, coherence and locutionary utterance. Speech acts have been discussed in the first two paragraphs. Coherence and locutionary utterance are discussed in the fourth and fifth paragraphs respectively. The conclusion winds up the analysis by pointed important points of the analysis. A conversation can contain many figures of speech.

Conversation analysis

The first two paragraphs discuss speech acts in the provided conversation. In this paragraph I look at interlocutors and perlocutionary act. Language develops specialized formats for common illocutionary acts. The opening of this conversation is provided by Abby in line 1 and invites Rita to join in the conversation with part two of the line, “go and talk to her”. The opening word ‘so’ calls for attention for the other person to join in the conversation. ‘So’, is an interlocutor opening in the conversation as Rita begins talking by calling the attention of the others. Interlocutors can be used to initiate or commence an interaction as well as bring an interaction to an end. The pause by Abby in line 13 allows Max to join the conversation and changes the topic by posing a question concerning meals. The interjection by Abby in line 7 is an illocutionary act. She says, “right in the middle”. This does not mean that Abby is physically in the middle. The perlocutionary act of this statement means that Abby is directly involved. Abby pre-empts Rita to act on the issue by going to talk to the person involved. Rita say, “Go talk to him” in line 9. The pauses allow other speakers to interject into the conversation.

In this paragraph I analyze illocutionary, direct illocutionary act, and indirect speech act (question).Illocutionary acts are also found in this conversation. Illocutionary act is the intention of the speaker when making a certain statement. In line 1 and 2 Rita says, “Go and talk to her”. This is a directive illocutionary act. It requires action on the part of the listener. This also is an indirect speech act because we do not see Abby going to talk to the subject. It seems Rita never meant that Abby should go talk to the person at that very moment. The pause in line 13 from Abby invites Max to interject and even change the topic. When Max takes over he even becomes the main speaker. In line 14 he changes to means by posing, “any questions on the meal?” this is an illocutionary act known as question. A question is meant to illicit information. This is an interrogative illocutionary act because he wants to know about meals. Max is asking about the meals although he goes on talking without waiting for an answers or contribution from the rest of his colleagues. The pause in line 17 was meant to invite other people to contribute in the conversation but Max proceeds when any other person is not talking. The conversation is sparked on in after Max uses another illocutionary act in the form of a question. He asks, “Where are they all at the moment?” In line 26 Max clears the throat may be as a cue to the rest to contribute to the conversation. But goes ahead to ask a question in line 27 for Abby and Leo to get into the conversation.

I explore coherence in third paragraph and fourth paragraph. From line 16 up to line 26 brings about the issue of coherence. Coherence is the overall sense that a given text holds together. As Max mumbles on it is hard to tell what he is referring to. He says, “we’ve had um ‘certain days’ now obviously we have three new starters Tonight um I didn’t even know [( )] I thought we had one (0.2) then there’s a possibility of two and it ended up at three, so these guys are multihires….”. From days, other employers (multihires) and start, it is hard to tell what Max really means in this passage. The sequence of his utterance jumps from one topic to another. And the end of statement in line 26 it is hard to tell the meaning of his utterance. He is forced to use another question to invite the others to speak. It seems the others are lost in his words and the question brings back their attention. Both Leo and Abby reply, “On the break”.

Max is a speaker who does not what to give up the floor for others and that explains the few pauses he has in his statements like in line 16 to 26. From line 31 up to line 40 Max again talks without a break or pauses. Leo laughs when Max eventually mentions Brandon Dewar. Abby is also excited with the name. Brendon seems to be funny guy as Max explains in the next monologue from line 44 to line 57. Max explains what he means by multihires in line 59 and the rest agree with him in the subsequent lines. Max say, “Very simple”. Abby agrees, “mm hmm”. Rita says, Yes”. In line 76, Max uses a question to change the topic. He asks, “why you not even in the union?” He also brings about the issue of flu and vaccination. Max has elected himself as the moderator of the conversation after Rita and Abby initiates it in the beginning. Leo, Rita, and Abby interject from time to time when they deem it appropriate. Max is old (55 years) and I think they do not want to interrupt him when he is talking unless they are invited to talk through pauses or questions. Coherence is important particularly when one is giving out instructions.

In the final paragraph I look at locutionary utterance. Rita does not mean what he says in the locutionary utterance, “no, no, I learnt it at Uni.” She follows it up with a soft laughter and her audience can tell that she does not mean what she is saying. In this conversation Leo seems reserved and he allows the rest to talk and contributes whenever necessarily. At most times he keeps quiet. In this conversation there is no miscommunication as a result of cross culture and the participant understand each other well. Cross cultural misunderstanding does not appear. Some monologues by Max are not easy to follow by a person who is not in the conversation setting. Leo, Rita, and Abby seem not to have any problem with his utterance. It is Max who draws the conversation to an end with his remarks about the staff Medical care. Max’s experience and age allows him the privilege of controlling the conversation. The contributions made by the participants have to be relevant to the topic introduced. The conversation ends having discussed meals, hiring, flue vaccination, medical care, and weekend shows.


Conversations involves interaction two or more people. This conversation engages four workers who are working for the same company. Some utterances are perlocutionary and they do not translate directly what they insinuate. Pauses have been used to invite other colleagues to take part in the conversation. Max has used questions to call for the others attention and sometimes change the topics of discussion. Interludes and pauses invite other people to join in the conversation and contribute. Coherence affects understanding of a conversation. Speech acts have to be interrupted well in order to get the clear meaning of the conversation. The conversation has been dominated by Max who acted as a moderator and most of the talking. The participation other members make it a lively conversation.