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ERIC Number: ED515291
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 263
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-6890-2
Brush Talk at the Conversation Table: Interaction between L1 and L2 Speakers of Chinese
Hwang, Menq-Ju
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Chinese characters are used in both Chinese and Japanese writing systems. When literate speakers of either language experience problems in finding or understanding words, they often resort to using Chinese characters or "kanji" (i.e., Chinese characters used in Japanese writing) in their talk, a practice known as "brush talk" ("bitan" in Chinese, or "hitsudan" in Japanese). Although brush talk has long been acknowledged in historical and literary sources, so far it has not been the topic of empirical research. This study adopts Conversation Analysis (CA) to examine how L1 and L2 speakers of Chinese employ brush talk to solve problems in speaking, hearing, or understanding in their talk. Brush talk is one of several resources available to the participants as a repair practice. Building on the sociological CA literature on repair, research on repair in second language talk, and CA studies of a range of interactional phenomena in Chinese, the study investigates brush talk in an extracurricular activity called Chinese Conversation Table. The participants are L1 speakers of Chinese and L1 speakers of Japanese who are students of Chinese as a foreign language at different levels of proficiency. In 28 hours of video recorded conversation table interactions, approximately 250 episodes of brush talk were identified. Analysis of this collection shows that brush talk is always initiated to solve a speaking or understanding problem. Three interactional outcomes are examined in detail: (a) Through brush talk, participants successfully address a problem in their talk and maintain or restore intersubjectivity; (b) brush talk creates its own understanding problems and does not lead to removing the trouble source; (c) beyond engaging in brush talk as a repair practice to address a problem in their talk, the participants orient to brush talk as an opportunity for learning L2 vocabulary in written form, pronunciation, and meaning. Participants' L2 includes Chinese, Japanese, or English. Implications for CFL pedagogy, research, and curriculum development are discussed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A