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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Issues in Applied Linguistics

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ial is a refereed journal managed by scholars in the field of applied linguistics. Our aim is to publish outstanding research from faculty, independent researchers, and graduate students in the broad areas of second language acquisition, language socialization, language processing, language assessment, language pedagogy, language policy, making use of the following research methodologies (but not limited to): discourse analysis, conversation analysis, critical discourse analysis, critical race theory, and psychophysiology. ial publishes articles, book reviews, and interviews with notable scholars.


The Constitution of Expert-Novice in Scientific Discourse

This paper argues that an examination of expert-novice relationships in unfolding interaction should not proceed from the static and unidirectional view that knowledge and status are distributed as functions of a priori categories such as age, gender, and hierarchical rank. Although analysis of interactional sequences from the group meetings of a university physics team reveals the co-occurrence of professional status and expertise in some segments of the data, we show, through a conversation analytic approach, that the constitution of expert-novice in dynamic interaction is a much more complicated, shifting, moment-by-moment reconstruction of Self and Other, whether within a speaker's talk or between speakers. We demonstrate that the constitution of a participant as expert at any moment in ongoing interaction can also be a simultaneous constitution of some other participant (or participants) as less expert, and that these interactionally achieved identities are only candidate constitutions of Self and Other until some next interactional move either ratifies or rejects them in some way. This way of viewing expert-novice relations can help account not only for the bidirectionality postulated in those models of apprenticeship, socialization, and learning which are based on activity theory but also for change and innovation in communities of practice. The implication for research raised by this study is that the analysis of language use ought to go beyond the extrinsic social, cultural, and biological identities of speakers and recipients; it should include an analysis of how utterances constitute these identities and how utterances are organized despite these identities.

Counselor and Student at Talk: A Case Study

This paper explores ways in which expert and novice roles are constituted and maintained in an academic counseling encounter. By characterizing the counseling meeting as a socializing, problem-solving event and using both functional linguistics and discourse analysis as our methodological tools, we describe how the counselor' and the student mark stance through linguistic choices such as polarity, modality, superlatives, and reported speech. We also argue that the practice of withholding is an important means for both participants to create a zone of proximal development for whoever of them is the less expertized and that such a practice plays an important role in the power dynamics of the academic counseling encounter.

Evidentiality and Politeness in Japanese

According to language socialization theory, language learning does not occur in isolation but is intimately related to the process of becoming a competent member of the target language society (Ochs & Schieffelin, 1984). To become competent members of society, language learners must learn, among other things, how to display their knowledge appropriately, using epistemic markers (evidentials) effectively. In this paper, the importance of epistemic markers in language socialization is discussed from the perspective of the second language classroom, the broader goal of the study being to more fully understand what second language learners must acquire in order to become competent members of the target language community. Through analysis of a conversation among Japanese teachers outside the classroom, this paper investigates the linguistic resources for constituting epistemic stance in Japanese. Like English, Japanese evidentiality can be marked with adverbials and idiomatic phrases. In addition, Japanese is rich in sentence-final particles which directly index interactive contexts. The function of epistemic markers in Japanese discourse is investigated, focusing on how epistemic markers, such as sentence-final particles, adverbials, and hedges function to reduce speaker responsibility.

Attention-Getting Strategies of Deaf Children at the Dinner Table

This study investigates one facet of the language socialization process of Deaf children with Deaf parents, specifically, how they learn to get attention as a speaker in order to participate in an American Sign Language (ASL) conversation. The database consists of a videotape of an hour-long dinner attended by three Deaf children (aged 3-6 years), their two Deaf mothers, and a Deaf researcher. Small segments of the interaction, transcribed from the videotape, show not only successful and unsuccessful attention-getting strategies used by one Deaf child in the group but also adult and peer responses to her novice-like efforts. This child's attempts at getting attention demonstrate that while she could perform many culturally appropriate attention-getting behaviors (e.g., tapping, hand-waving, eye-gaze), she was still in the process of developing awareness of the relative impact of the various strategies and the ability to judge pragmatic conditions appropriate to their use. The mothers' and peers' cooperation helped to facilitate the child's participation, by modelling specifically Deaf discourse strategies for communication in a multi-party setting. This study shows that such modelling enables Deaf children in a Deaf context to become autonomous partners in interaction with their parents and peers at an early age.

Scientists' Orientation to an Experimental Apparatus in Their Interaction in a Chemistry Lab

This study explores the relationship between scientists' orientation to one another and to an experimental apparatus, analyzing as data a videotaped authentic interaction among co-workers in a chemistry laboratory. It demonstrates how the scientists display systematic orientation to the apparatus as their common spatial point of reference on the one hand and as the physical embodiment of the experiment on the other hand.