A sentence dispersed within a turn-at-talk

Response-opportunity places as loci for interactional work


  • Aug Nishizaka Chiba University




japanese interaction, conversation analysis, response-opportunity places, grammatical construction


The aim of this study is to show that there is orderliness in a piece of talk that is extremely complex and, in so doing, to explore the grammatical construction of naturally occurring, and contingently produced, utterances in Japanese interaction. First, I distinguish between unit-completeness and turn-completeness. Second, I introduce the notion of response-opportunity places to indicate those places in which although the ongoing talk is still both unit- and turn-incomplete, responses may be produced. These places are systematically used as loci for initiating solutions to various possible interactional problems, such as problems of hearing and understanding. Third, I examine different practices through which the speaker returns to the incomplete turn-constructional unit. The orderliness of the target talk is the result of the speaker’s systematic use of these places and practices.

Author Biography

  • Aug Nishizaka, Chiba University

    Aug Nishizaka is Professor of Sociology at Chiba University. His current research is concerned with Japanese interactions in various settings, including interactions among residents in the areas directly affected by the nuclear power plant explosions subsequent to the earthquake on 11 March 2011. His recent publications include ‘Syntactical constructions and tactile orientations’, Journal of Pragmatics (2016), ‘The perceived body and embodied vision in interaction’, Mind, Culture, and Activity (2017), and ‘The moral construction of worry about radiation exposure’, Discourse & Society (2017).


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How to Cite

Nishizaka, A. (2017). A sentence dispersed within a turn-at-talk: Response-opportunity places as loci for interactional work. East Asian Pragmatics, 2(2), 229-258. https://doi.org/10.1558/eap.34561