Multimodal Action Formation in Second Language Talk
Japanese Speakers’ Use of the Gassho Gesture in English Apology Sequences
Keywords:apologies, second language interaction, homestay interaction, multimodal conversation analysis, interactional repertoires
This study explores the multimodal action formation of second language (L2) apologies, particularly in relation to the members’ orientation to the significance of the misdemeanour. Although talk is the primary means through which participants accomplish apologies, embodied and paralinguistic interaction also play an integral role in conveying the proportional intensity of the apology. Members may bolster a second language apology with gestures from their first language, such as the Japanese gassho gesture. The study draws on conversation analytic research on L2 use as situated within a complex ecology of multimodal social interaction to reflect on the notions of interactional competence and interactional repertoires. The sequences were video-recorded among Japanese homestay visitors and their American host families.
Bardovi-Harlig, K., Rose, M., & Nickels, E. L. (2008). The use of conventional expressions of thanking, apologizing, and refusing. In M. Bowles, R. Foote, S. Perpiñán, & R. Bhatt (Eds.). Selected proceedings of the 2007 second language research forum (pp. 113-130). Cascadilla Proceedings Project.
Blum-Kulka, S., & Olshtain, E. (1984). Requests and apologies: A cross-cultural study of speech act realization patterns (CCSARP). Applied Linguistics, 5(3), 196-213. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/5.3.196
Chang, Y. F. (2010). ‘I no say you say is boring’: The development of pragmatic competence in L2 apology. Language Sciences, 32(3), 408-424. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.langsci.2009.07.002
Chang, W. L. M., & Haugh, M. (2011). Evaluations of im/politeness of an intercultural apology. Intercultural Pragmatics, 8(3), 411-442. https://doi.org/10.1515/iprg.2011.019
Cibulka, P. (2015). When the hands do not go home: A micro-study of the role of gesture phases in sequence suspension and closure. Discourse Studies, 17(1), 3-24. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461445614557756
Cohen, A. D., & Olshtain, E. (1985). Comparing apologies across languages. In K. R. Jankowsky (Ed.), Scientific and humanistic dimensions of language (pp. 175-184). John Benjamins.
Cirillo, L., Colón de Carvajal, I., & Ticca, A. C. (2016). “I'm sorry + naming the offense”: A format for apologizing. Discourse Processes, 53(1-2), 83-96. https://doi.org/10.1080/0163853x.2015.1056691
Dings, A. (2012). Native speaker/nonnative speaker interaction and orientation to novice/expert identity. Journal of Pragmatics, 44(11), 1503-1518. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2012.06.015
Edwards, D. (2000). Extreme case formulations: Softeners, investment, and doing nonliteral. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 33(4), 347-373. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327973rlsi3304_01
Enfield, N. (2005). The body as a cognitive artifact in kinship representations: Hand gesture diagrams by speakers of Lao. Current Anthropology, 46(1), 51–81. https://doi.org/10.1086/425661
Fatigante, M., Biassoni, F., Marazzini, F., & Diadori, P. (2016). Responsibility and culpability in apologies: Distinctive uses of “sorry” versus “I'm sorry” in apologizing. Discourse Processes, 53(1-2), 26-46. https://doi.org/10.1080/0163853x.2015.1056696
Flowers, C. (2018). Backward transfer of apology strategies from Japanese to English: Do English L1 speakers use Japanese-style apologies when speaking English? Master’s thesis, Brigham Young University.
Galatolo, R., Ursi, B., & Bongelli, R. (2016). Parasitic apologies. Discourse Processes, 53(1-2), 97-113. https://doi.org/10.1080/0163853x.2015.1056694
Glenn, P. (2013). Interviewees volunteered laughter in employment interviews: A Case of “nervous” laughter? In P. Glenn, & E. Holt (Eds.), Studies of laughter in interaction (pp. 255-275). Bloomsbury. https://doi.org/10.1086/222003
Goffman, E. (1971). Relations in public: Microstudies of the public order. Basic Books.
Goodwin, C. (1981). Conversational organization: Interaction between speakers and hearers. Academic Press.
Greer, T. (2018). Learning to say grace. Social Interaction: Video-bases Studies of Human Sociality 1(1). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7146/si.v1i1.105499
Greer, T. (2019) Initiating and delivering news-of-the-day tellings: Interactional competence as joint development. Journal of Pragmatics. 146, 150-164.
Hall, J. K. (2018). From L2 interactional competence to L2 interactional repertoires: Reconceptualising the objects of L2 learning. Classroom Discourse, 9(1), 25-39. https://doi.org/10.1080/19463014.2018.1433050
Hall, J. K., & Pekerak Doehler, S. (2011). L2 Interactional Competence and Development. In J. K. Hall, J. Hellermann & S. Pekarak Doehler (Eds.). L2 interactional competence and development, (pp. 1–15). Multilingual Matters.
Hauser, E. (2019). Upgraded self-repeated gestures in Japanese interaction. Journal of Pragmatics, 150, 180-196. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2018.04.004
Heritage, J. (1998). Oh-prefaced responses to inquiry. Language in Society, 27(3), 291-334. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0047404500019990
Heritage, J. (2002). Oh-prefaced responses to assessments: A method of modifying agreement/disagreement. In C. Ford, B. Fox, & S. A. Thompson (Eds.), The language of turn and sequence (pp. 196–224). Oxford University Press.
Heritage, J., & Raymond, C. W. (2016). Are explicit apologies proportional to the offenses they address?. Discourse Processes, 53(1-2), 5-25.
Heritage, J., Raymond, C. W., & Drew, P. (2019). Constructing apologies: Reflexive relationships between apologies and offenses. Journal of Pragmatics, 142, 185-200. https://doi.org/10.1080/0163853x.2015.1056695
Hirama, K. (2011). Crosslinguistic influence on pragmatics: The case of apologies by Japanese-first-language learners of English. McGill University (Canada).
Ivaldi, A. (2016). Students’ and teachers’ orientation to learning and performing in music conservatoire lesson interactions. Psychology of Music, 44(2), 202-218. https://doi.org/10.1177/0305735614562226
Jefferson, G. (2004). Glossary of transcription symbols with an introduction. In G. Lerner. (Ed.) Conversation analysis: Studies from the first generation (pp. 13–31). John Benjamins.
Kasper, G., & Ross, S. (1996). Transfer and proficiency in interlanguage apologizing. In S. Gass, & J. Neu (Eds.). Speech acts across cultures: Challenges to communication in a second language (pp. 155-187). Mouton de Gruytor.
Kotani, M. (2002). Expressing gratitude and indebtedness: Japanese speakers' use of "I'm sorry" in English conversation. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 35(1), 39-72. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327973rlsi35-1_2
Kusters, A. (2021). Introduction: the semiotic repertoire: Assemblages and evaluation of resources. International Journal of Multilingualism, 18(2), 183-189. https://doi.org/10.1080/14790718.2021.1898616
Levinson, S. C. (2013). Action formation and ascription. In J. Sidnell & T. Stivers (Eds.). The handbook of conversation analysis (pp. 103-130). Wiley-Blackwell.
Li, W. (2018). Translanguaging as a practical theory of language. Applied Linguistics, 39(1), 9-30. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amx039
Lilja, N. & Piirainen-Marsh, A. (2019): How hand gestures contribute to action ascription, Research on Language and Social Interaction 52(4), 343-364. https://doi.org/10.1080/08351813.2019.1657275
Maezumi, H. T., & Glassman, B. T. (Eds.). (1976). On Zen practice. Wisdom Publications. https://terebess.hu/zen/mesterek/Gassho-Bowing.pdf
Mondada, L. (2014). The local constitution of multimodal resources for social interaction. Journal of Pragmatics, 65, 137-156. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2014.04.004
Mondada, L. (2018). Multiple temporalities of language and body in interaction: Challenges for transcribing multimodality. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 51(1), 85-106. https://doi.org/10.1080/08351813.2018.1413878
Olshtain, E. & Cohen, A. D. (1983). Apology: A speech act set. In N. Wolfson, & E. Judd, (Eds.), Sociolinguistics and language acquisition (pp. 18-35). Newbury House.
Pennycook, A. (2017). Translanguaging and semiotic assemblages. International Journal of Multilingualism, 14(3), 269–282. https://doi.org/10.1080/14790718.2017.1315810
Park, I., & Duey, M. (2020). I’m sorry (to interrupt): The use of explicit apology in turn-taking. Applied Linguistics Review, 11(3), 377-401. https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2018-0017
Pomerantz, A. (1984). Agreeing and disagreeing with assessments: Some features of preferred/dispreferred turn shaped. In Atkinson, J. & Heritage, J. (Eds.). Structures of social action: Studies in conversation analysis (pp. 57-101). Cambridge University Press.
Rendle-Short, J. (2010). ‘Mate’ as a term of address in ordinary interaction. Journal of Pragmatics, 42(5), 1201-1218. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2009.09.013
Robinson, J. D. (2004). The sequential organization of "explicit" apologies in naturally occurring English. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 37(3), 291-330. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327973rlsi3703_2
Sacks, H. (1992). Lectures on conversation, Vol I & II. Blackwell.
Schegloff, E. A. (2005). On complainability. Social problems, 52(4), 449-476. https://doi.org/10.1525/sp.2005.52.4.449
Stevanovic, M., & Peräkylä, A. (2012). Deontic authority in interaction: The right to announce, propose, and decide. Research on Language & Social Interaction, 45(3), 297-321. https://doi.org/10.1080/08351813.2012.699260
Suzuki, M. (2016, September 20). The meaning of itadakimasu and how it reduces food waste. Tofugu. https://www.tofugu.com/japanese/itadakimasu-meaning/
Wagner, J. (2018). Multilingual and multimodal interaction. Applied Linguistics, 39(1), 9-30. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amx058
Young, R. (1999). Sociolinguistic approaches to SLA. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 19. 105–132. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0267190599190068
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Author and Journal
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
We follow the Budapest Open Access Initiative's definition of Open Access.
The journal allows the author(s) to hold the copyright without restrictions.
The journal allows software/spiders to automatically crawl the journal content (also known as text mining)
The journal provides article level metadata to DOAJ
The journal allows readers to read, download, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of its articles and allow readers to use them for any other lawful purpose.